The southwest city of Turku hosted a Turku Pride parade on Saturday under sunny skies. Pride parades are events held throughout the world celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender culture, and this year’s Turku gathering attracted close to 3,000 participants.
The march through the city proceeded in good graces, despite what some felt was an undercurrent of anxiety after recent attacks on diversity in Finland.
Paula Härmä from the capital region city of Espoo said the tightened atmosphere in Finland of late was evident in Turku.
“At least as far as I am concerned, this year’s Turku Pride had a more demonstration-type feel, more like a Pride event, than in earlier years. Because the situation has grown more tense, we have naturally focused on making sure our voices are heard, in addition to celebrating,” she says.
Local police report that the march went smoothly and only required traffic to be re-routed for a short time.
In terms of enthusiasm, however, Turku Pride by no means played second fiddle to similar events in the capital city, according to Helsinki native Anni Taponen.
“It may have been a tad smaller, but otherwise the vibe was in every way equal to Helsinki Pride.”