Reykjavík Pride organisers say that this Saturday’s parade is set to be historic. For the first time ever, the management team behind the festival will be appearing on a float in the parade, where they will be joined by Mayor Dagur B. Eggertson and other members of city council, according to an interview in Gay Iceland.
In past years, the festival’s management team have not actually had their own float in the parade.
“The thing is that we in the team and all the volunteers have been curling up in a ball of stress during the parade itself, so we haven’t really been able to watch it, let alone enjoy it,” says Reykjavík Pride president Eva María Þórarinsdóttir Lange in the interview. “Now we decided to arrange things so that we could fully take in this explosion of joy.”
Eva says they have transformed a Reykjavík Excursions double-decker bus into a colourful float for the occasion.
“I got the idea when the Icelandic men’s national team in football were celebrated downtown when returning to Iceland after a good run at the Euro 2016 in France,” she says. “The double-decker is being decorated with a rainbow flag as we speak.”
Although former mayor Jón Gnarr was well known for dressing in drag at the parade, Dagur says he isn’t planning on doing the same.
“Part of the message that Reykjavík Pride represents is that every person should be happy in his or her own skin and be whoever he or she wants to be,” he says in the Gay Iceland interview. “That also applies to us who are a bit more boorish.”
Dagur says that about ten city council members will be joining the float, and that they would happily consider taking part in the parade again in future years. For her part, Eva says the management team will see how this year’s parade goes before deciding if the float will become a tradition.
So far, Reykjavík Pride organizers say attendance at events this week has been near record-breaking, and with the good weather forecast for Saturday the attendance at the parade is expected to be huge. The parade will begin at Vatnsmýrarvegur at 14:00 on Saturday, August 6.