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Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade
Photo: Dana Kopel
Thousands marching through Tel Aviv as part of the city's Gay Pride Parade

Tel Aviv Pride Parade returns with a bang after pandemic pause

Tens of thousands turn out for annual LGTQ+ celebration as it makes it way to the beachfront led by six massive floats; heavy police presence along the route after man arrested earlier in the day on suspicion of planning to attack attendees at the event

Ynet |
Published: 06.25.21, 13:44
Tel Aviv's world-famous Gay Pride Parade returned on Friday, after last year's event was canceled due to COVID-19, with tens of thousands flocking to the city for its annual LGTQ+ celebration.
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  • Six giant floats led the parade, which began at noon, as it made way across the coastal city to the Charles Clore Garden on the beachfront.
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    Thousands marching through Tel Aviv as part of the city's Gay Pride Parade
    (Photo: Dana Kopel)
    Crowds danced and waved the gay pride and trans flags, many in skimpy and colorful costumes.
    President Reuven Rivlin, who is set to retire from his position next month, took to Twitter to congratulate the LGBTQ+ community for the last time as president.
    "Dear friends in the #LGBTQ+ community. For the last time as president, I send you best wishes for #pridemonth," he wrote.
    "Our hearts are open to you, even as we continue to fight for the fundamental right for everyone to be who they are. Bless you all!"
    In previous years, thousands of tourists from all over the world attended the event, but despite their absence due to the pandemic and global travel restrictions, the parade remains a national event.
    Even so, some tourists did decide to make the journey from the United States, England and Mexico especially to take part in the event. Israel, with its low infection rates, appears on multiple countries' "safe" travel lists.
    Some 2,000 police officers and another 1,000 ushers were deployed from the morning hours along the procession route to secure the celebrants, maintain public order and manage the traffic arrangements.
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    (Photo: Dana Kopel)
    Police have installed over 300 cameras along the parade route, along with other measures such as drones, a helicopter broadcasting the event in real time and undercover detectives on rooftops and on the ground.
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    (Photo: Dana Kopel)
    Earlier Friday, police nearby arrested a heavily armed man who was suspected of trying to attack attendees at the parade.
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    The banner reads: 'My son is gay, so what?'
    (Photo: Dana Kopel)
    Tel Aviv District Police said it had seized a taser, brass knuckles, nunchucks, ice picks and steel chains.
    Police also detained three suspects for questioning who were flying drones in the area of the parade route.
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