10 Pride Fun Facts

by Matthew Tharrett
Tuesday Jun 23, 2009

1. The first Gay Pride parades were held the weekend of June 27 and 28, 1970 in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. They were organized to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

2. The rainbow flag as a gay pride symbol made its debut at the San Francisco Pride Parade in 1978. Harvey Milk asked his good friend Gilbert Baker to design a unifying symbol for the gay community and the rainbow flag was the result.

3. The original rainbow flag had eight colors. It included hot pink and turquoise, symbolizing sexuality and art. These colors were taken out later due to production constraints and the need for design symmetry.

4. The largest rainbow flag used in a Pride celebration was unfurled in Key West, Florida for the flag's 25th anniversary in 2003. The flag was one and a quarter miles long and 16 feet wide and stretched across the entire island. It was later divided up to be displayed at dozens of Pride events across the globe.

5. The first mayor to take part in a Pride Parade was San Francisco's George Moscone in 1978.

6. The first mayor to ban a city's Pride Parade was Yuri Luzhkov in Moscow, Russia in 2006.

7. Amsterdam is the only city whose Pride celebration literally floats on a river. The parade takes place on 100 decorated boats that sail through the city on the Prinsengracht River.

8. New York City hosts the longest parade route, stretching from Midtown to the West Village, a total of three miles.

9. The longest gay pride celebration lasts three to four weeks in Sydney, Australia each February, ending with Mardi Gras.

10. Mexico City hosts the biggest Pride celebration in Central America, attracting over one million spectators.

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