«São Paulo Gay Parade
The São Paulo Gay Parade had about 1.5 million participants in the 2004 edition, ranking amongst the largest in the world.
The 8th edition of the São Paulo gay parade happened on June 13th 2004.
According to the police, there were 1.5 million attendants; according to the organizers, the figure reached 1.8 million. Whichever the case, the São Paulo event is one of the largest in the world; for comparison, the Toronto Gay Parade of 2003 had about 900,000 people, and the New York Gay Parade gathered a little more than 1 million.
For the 2005 event, which will happen on May 29th, organizers expect a public of over 2 million people.
The Parade will start in front of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, will move along the Avenida Paulista towards the Praça da República; the total distance is about 3 km, to be walked in about 5 hours. The walking will start at 2 pm, but since the morning people are already showing.
Besides the Parade itself, there will be cultural events and musical shows with bands playing every kind of rythm. The Police will be present, but all the past editions of the Parade have been absolutely peaceful.
The event has become of the most important tourist events of the city of São Paulo; the Tourism Boards expects 400,000 Brazilian and foreigner tourists to visit the city during the week.
Until 2004, the event had the support not only of the government, but also the important personal support of the ex-Mayor, Marta Suplicy. Mrs. Suplicy is a defendant of the GLS cause, being the author of a law draft which legalizes the civil union between people of the same gender (the draft is still under discussion in the Congress).
This year, the government has changed, but the new Mayor José Serra keeps full support to the event. Guides are being especially trained to meet the needs of visitors; the training is being supervised by Franco Reinaudo, specialist in GLS tourism, author of the GLS Guide to Brazil.
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