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La Vida Buena

Experiencing the good life in Spain on the Costa Blanca. Semi-retired Dutch/American couple on a budget, blogging about places we visit, foods we try, wines we like, places we stay. Follow us for our view on the good life in Spain.

Gay Parade in Benidorm
21 September 2015 @ 19:49

This was our first year to be in Benidorm in September and we had the pleasure to see the LGTBI (gay) parade last weekend.   After the event, we started talking to someone at the Tiki bar, and we told them we were from Amsterdam, sometimes called the gay capital of Europe.  Everyone seems to know that Amsterdam has a LGBTI festival every year and they asked us to compare the two parades - Amsterdam and Benidorm.  I thought it might be interesting to share our perspective with you here.  

We had to say politely, that the parade in Benidorm was really fun but quite modest in comparison to Amsterdam.  But the Benidorm parade was a much more close up and friendly experience.  One in which we could actually (and did) talk to the parade participants as they walked by and could take photos up close and personal.  Great fun!  

In Amsterdam, the annual LGTBI (gay) parade is a huge, day long event and the entire city seems to participate.  The parade attracts several hundred-thousand visitors per year.   Vendors cover the streets above the canals, providing an endless variety of food, drink and trinkets for sale.  Local businesses sponsor boats and barges as a platform for parade participants.  In Amsterdam, the colorfully dressed participants float by on the canals whilst standing and dancing to the booming music on their floating stages, as the observers stand above on the streets overlooking the canals.  The parade lasts for hours.  The entire city seems to vibrate with colorful energy while watching the festival event floats by.  The Amsterdam Gay Parade has been a major city event since 1996, almost 20 years.  Also, Amsterdam has a long history as a city catering to gay tourism.   Gay residents abound as well.  There are many bars and restaurants catering to the LGTBI residents and visitors. 

Amsterdam parade has made it into wikipedia:   

According to the Benidorm Gay Pride website:  they've been organized for 5 years now.  I'm not sure if they've had a parade each of those 5 years because we haven't been here, but considering the festival is only 5 years young, it's developing quite nicely and it's sure to continue to grow.  Benidorm Levante boulevard and the Spanish weather are a perfect combination for such a fun event.  

Anyway, my husband and I enjoyed the Benidorm festival event and being out on the boulevard on a warm and sunny afternoon in September is always nice in and of itself.  Straight or LGTBI, if you've not had the chance to be here during this festival, of which the parade is only one event, we recommend it and you should consider a visit in September.

In honor and support of the LGTBI community, we share with you just a couple of the fun pictures we were able to capture last weekend.



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