Budapest: a city that graces both sides of the legendary Danube River, crossed by a succession of regal bridges. With its mix of grand, tree-lined boulevards, neighbourhoods with winding, narrow, cobblestone streets from the medieval times and neoclassical buildings from the 19th century, Budapest offers the sophisticated visitor the familiarity of European culture with a tantalizingly distinctive Hungarian flavour. The city is considered the gay capital of Eastern Europe and also plays the host for a yearly Gay Pride extravaganza.

Last year, the festival was given a new, shorter name, that being “Budapest Pride”. Not only is this title easier to remember, it also links the festival to the capitol city, and it is a well-recognized name for the festival’s foreign guests. In addition to the name-changing, the event’s slogan – which until now has been altered every year – has also been transformed into one simple lasting word, with one meaning for the LGBT community and every person: “Szabad” (Free). This one word expresses everything for which the Festival and those organizing it have worked for ever since its first hesitant beginning.

In celebration of the Pride 15th birthday this year, Budapest is returning to its traditional summer date – thus the Hungarian LGBT community is organizing its weeklong Festival from July 4-11, 2010. In addition to the usual wide range of happenings, counting the famous film festival at the Művész cinema, the Festival’s organizers have made sure that the participants will be able to engage themselves in not previously arranged events including roundtable conversations and workshops for every kind of interest.

July 10, 2010 is the day where the gigantic Hungarian troop will congregate at HÅ‘sök tere before proceeding on its traditional route via Kodály körönd, Opera before ending at Erzsébet tér. Flamboyancy, colourfulness and above all jollity can be expected as happy people will waltz down the picturesque streets of Budapest, leaving glaze and glances on their way.

* http://budapestpride.hu/