The boas, the glitter, the colors! Gay Pride in Paris kicks off with the city’s happiest parade stretching across both banks. It all goes down June 27th starting at 2PM. This year’s theme? “Multiple but indivisible.” And we will certainly be both at the parade.
The parade ends at Place de la République with a concert, including Tara McDonald, The Young Professionals, several DJs, and more. While you can jump in and march as you see fit, you may just want to watch the floats go by – but where’s the best place? We’ve got the rundown of the pros and cons for the various spots along the route.
Let’s just hope we have better weather than last year!
Luxembourg Gardens and Blvd Saint Michel: The parade starts here, and it’s down in the tourist-heavy Latin Quarter. While it’s pretty, the party will not be at its liveliest. We’d suggest heading downstream more.
Boulevard Saint Germain: Full of cafés and locals out and about, this is usually one of the more lively stretches of the parade. People watch from their apartments, a mix of local gays and their friends crowd the sidewalks, and the party atmosphere usually shines through. There is also a free water station along this stretch, by the metro Maubert-Mutualité. The cons? People. Many, many people.
Pont de Sully: This open stretch along the bridge connecting the island and then the two river banks is one of our favorite places to watch. It feels much more open since, well it’s a big bridge, and there are fewer buildings, just stretches of the river Seine and Paris’s monuments in the background. The cons? There are fewer places to grab a drink or bite to eat, and you may be forced to pee under an adjacent bridge if nature calls…
Bastille: In 2013, the parade ended here, with the revolutionary July Column playing host to the crowds that gather for the post-parade concert. This year, the parade will push through Bastille, but its many cafés and vendors on either side of the route make it a solid choice. And what better symbol for gay pride than passing through where the world’s most famous revolution began? The cons? It might get a bit more crowded than the bridge, but since it’s just next to the Marais, you could nip away to a bar once you’ve had enough.
Boulevard Beaumarchais: This stretch, like Boulevard Saint Germain, is mostly residential, and we’re not sure it will be entirely lively. But hey, it’s a demonstration and a celebration, not a popularity contest. The streets shooting off the boulevard are full of pit stops, cafés, and bakeries for refueling. The second free water station will be here, just after the metro stop Chemin Vert. The cons? Everyone is starting to get a little too drunk by this point…
Place de la République: The parade will end at this square, the same one where millions of Parisians marched in January after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The end of a Parisian parade can sometimes be a bit dodgy, since people from all over the area are suddenly standing around waiting for the concert, in varying levels of intoxication. At the same time, it’s great fun.
We’ll probably be setting up shop just before République to watch, since it’s close to us, but also because it’s got bathrooms and many vendors selling sausage sandwiches (fitting, eh?). The cons? Lots of drunk gay Parisians hanging around together. Wait, did we say con? :)
Who will be out there at Paris pride??? Any other suggestions for where to watch?