For the first time ever in the history of the Reykjavík Pride Parade, the management team for Reykjavík Pride will join the parade on a float. And to top it off, the mayor of Reykjavík, Dagur B. Eggertsson, and others from the city council will join them.
“The last years there has been talk about that the Reykjavík Pride management team has been sort of invisible in the Pride Parade itself. 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. Now we decided to arrange things so that we could fully take in this explosion of joy,” says Eva María Þórarinsdóttir Lange, president of Reykjavík Pride.
This year the management team will, for the first time ever, have their own wagon float in the parade. And if that wasn’t enough, the mayor of Reykjavík, Dagur B. Eggertsson, and some councilmen from the city council will join them on the float.
“This idea was presented to us by the Reykjavík Pride team and we loved it,” says Dagur. “All the councilmen are asked to join the parade each year and I think this year we will be about ten in total.”
Reykjavík city is one of the biggest sponsors of Reykjavík Pride and the city council has always taken part in the parade. This is however the first time they will be on a float.
“We jumped on the idea of joining the float because Reykjavík is a city where human rights are respected and we want to support the human rights battle of queer people like we have done for years,” says Dagur. “I think this parade truly is a parade of joy because it makes the city more beautiful and better in every way, not to mention more fun and colorful.”
“There will be a disco theme because life is a disco … I got the idea when the Icelandic men’s national team in football were celebrated down town … after a good run at the EURO 2016 in France.”
Eva and her team were of course thrilled that the mayor and his staff were ready and willing to accompany them on the float which will be an open roof double-decker.
“We contacted our friends at Reykjavík Excursion who have sponsored us for many years. They were up for making the double-decker float but I got the idea when the Icelandic men’s national team in football were celebrated down town, when returning to Iceland after a good run at the EURO 2016 in France. The double-decker is being decorated with a rainbow flag as we speak,” says Eva.
But will there be any surprises on the float? “I’m not quite sure, but there might be,” she says with a laugh. “There will be a disco theme because life is a disco. I haven’t really decided on a costume but I can guarantee that we will shimmer and sparkle. I even got an extremely cute phone call from one of the councilmen asking where was the best place in town to buy disco outfits.”
Dagur’s predecessor, Jón Gnarr, participated in the parade his years in office, each time in drag. Will Dagur take a page from his colorful book?
“I decided from the very beginning when I became mayor that I would not try to put on Jón’s clothes – in every sense. Part of the message that Reykjavík Pride represents is that every person should be happy in his or hers own skin and be whoever he or she wants to be. That also applies to us who are a bit more boorish,” says Dagur and smiles but doubts that he will wear his usual work attire, a suit and tie.
A symbolic support
Eva is unsure if the management team’s float will become a tradition. “This was just a thought this year, something we thought would be fun. We will see if we will do it again next year. We have such an amazing team of volunteers backing us up that makes this possible.”
Dagur says he would definitely consider the idea of joining the float if approached again. “We have never excluded any ideas when it comes to Reykjavík Pride. But I have never considered our participation as the main point but rather as symbolic support. We want to participate in a beautiful and sincere way,” says the mayor of Reykjavík, who is quite pumped for the parade.
“I’m very excited and I’m constantly watching the weather forecast for Saturday which is steadily improving. But experience has taught us that it doesn’t matter if it rains or shines – the parade is always wonderful,” says Dagur and Eva agrees.
“It’s lovely to see how popular the festival is. I think people are looking at this more now as a six-day festival – not just one day with the parade.”
“We’ve been extremely fortunate with the weather this week. But there is one thing so beautiful about the day of the Pride Parade – people always seem to come and show us support however the weather is. A little rain never hurt anyone,” says Eva.
And speaking of this week, some events of the Reykjavík Pride festival have been sold out and attendance has almost been record-breaking. Eva is over the moon with how the festival has been going so far.
“It’s lovely to see how popular the festival is. I think people are looking at this more now as a six-day festival – not just one day with the parade. This week has been amazing and I’m so excited for Saturday. But my schedule is packed and I just take one day at a time. But when I see all the pieces fall into place on Saturday I can really let myself be excited and just enjoy.”
Main photo: Courtesy of Reykjavík Pride.