Rainbow colors, loud music and colorful flags marked the opening of EuroPride 2024, which took place on Friday along Thessaloniki’s scenic waterfront park.

The event came as Greece recently became the 16th country in the EU to establish marriage for all, with Thessaloniki now hosting Europe’s most prominent annual LGBTI+ event.

“We are excited and thrilled about this momentum, this atmosphere. Even though it coincides with a long weekend, people are coming and want to participate in the official opening of this wonderful event. From Thessaloniki, we send our message to all of Europe; we want to move forward, we cannot tolerate any more delays. These are our lives; we must progress and build together an inclusive society. That’s why we are here, to demonstrate it with love and acceptance,” local organizer Director Apostolis Karabairis told the press.

EuroPide 2024’s opening ceremony was held at a park amphitheater featuring performing local and foreign artists.

EuroPride 2024 is set to unfold during the last days of June (21-29), celebrated by activists as LGBT pride month, and will culminate with a  parade on Saturday, June 29.

With the slogan “Preserve, Progress, Prosper,” the event’s schedule includes a human rights conference, concerts, plays, dance performances, street games, nightlife hotspots and more.

The event is organized by Thessaloniki Pride with the support of the municipality and the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization.