Last updated May 22nd 2016

Fold out your rainbow flag, and put on your craziest outfit – or just that tiny short you bought especially for this occasion. The Nonstop City’s annual Pride Parade will rock your world on the 3rd of June, and will, once again, display the many colors of the LGBT community in Tel Aviv. Here’s my listing – originally written for Time Out Israel – of all the unmissable events.

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The Parade will be the highlight of the Pride Festival, which will be running between May 25 and June 5th. The Festival is one of the city’s main events, driving tens of thousands of tourists to the city. Last year 180,000 people participated and over 30,000 gay tourists arrived from around the world – no wonder the city is preparing with some unmissable fun for those who come along to Tel Aviv to celebrate love, diversity, and freedom.

Ongoing programs

Tel Aviv Pride Beach

Ever wondered where the Israeli guys get their fabulous tan? Hilton beach is going to be the home for the LGBT community during the two weeks prior the pride parade. Every day at 16.00 there will be paddles tournaments on the beach with prizes for the winners. Dates: 22/5 – 4/6

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GLTA International Tennis Tournaments

The Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance is having the first international tennis tournament in Tel Aviv. “One of the most gay friendly cities in the world” is happy to host the sports event – catch a match at the Israel Tennis Center, Tel Aviv. Dates: 28/3 – 3/4

Pride Shopping Bus from the Beach to Dizengof Center

Let your inner Carrie Bradshaw free in one of Tel Aviv’s most iconic shopping mall. Branded shuttles leaving from the Beach to Dizengoff Center and back every day every half hour, or so, operating between 12.00 and 20.00. Warning: it’s easy to get lost in the labyrinth-like building – but it’s another excuse to sneak in to a few more stores, looking for the perfect bathing pants. Dates: 22/5 – 4/6

International Women’s Health Conference

Because being gay is not only about glam – every year during the pride week the Gan Meir Clinic is hosting a health conference on different topics. This year in accordance with the theme of the pride events, the health conference will be dedicated to Women health and related issues. Date: 26-27/5

TLVFest – the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival

This one’s a must! Cinematheque Tel Aviv hosts only LGBT film festival in the Middle East, TLVFest is a fixture of the Israeli pride week. Selected twice (2014 & 2015) by INDIEWIRE as one of the 10 LGBT film festivals not to be missed, the festival offers a fascinating look into international and Israeli queer cinematic art. Dates: 29/5 – 7/6

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A Cultural Festival, Cooperation between the LGBT Community Center and Habima theater

Love theatre? Interested in performance art? Do you support cultural start ups, aiming to change the view on LGBTQ culture? The first collaboration of its kind between the LGBT Community center Theater ‘The Cube’ and the national Theater ‘Habima’ to present together three dedicated shows. Dates: 27/5 – 4/6

Happy Hour at the Port and Blue Hotel

Tel Aviv is not the cheapest city in the world, but making the right decisions about where you order that Cosmo, you can cut back your expenses significantly. Port and Blue Hotel, located just a few steps away from the lively and trendy Tel Aviv Port, will host a happy hour every day between 17.00 and 19.00 at their hotel lounge to celebrate Pride in Tel Aviv. Dates: 29/5 – 4/6

Fashion & Vegan Culinary City Tours

Walking on sunshine, yeah! Tel Aviv Global will operate a daily two hours walking tour for Shopaholics who wants to learn what’s hot and who’s who in Tel Aviv’s fashion arena. The city also operates daily two hours walking tour for vegans, showcasing the city’s unique culinary scene. Dates: 29/5 – 4/6

Highlighted events

Tel Aviv Pride Parade and Party

At the pinnacle of pride week is the gay parade, which kicks off at 10:00 in Me’ir Park with drag shows, floats, marching groups and uplifting music. This festive celebration departs from the park, through the city and ends with a bang at the famous sunset beach party, attracting countless spectators and participants. The biggest sunset beach party in the Middle East, with special performances and DJs attracting countless spectators and participants. Date: 3/6 

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Round Tables with Public Figures

Let’s get political for a moment, and meet those people face to face to make Tel Aviv Pride happen year after year. Habima square hosts members of the Knesset, Ministers, public officials and the LGBT community members sit together for round tables and discuss various issues. The event is attended by the main political parties – regardless from being leftists, or rightists. Date: 2/6

Miss Trans Israel Pageant

Girls just wanna have fun – so get fired up like a smoking gun. The first beauty pageant of its kind will be held in Tel Aviv this May and the winner will represent Israel at the Miss Trans Star International pageant to be held in Barcelona in August. Show your support at Hateatron Club, Jaffa. Date: 28/5

Eurovision Event

Viva la diva! At the Gan Meir Park former Eurovision winners, including Dana International, Anne Marie David, Helena Paparizou and others, as well as this year’s Israeli representative Hovi Star, will give a free concert in Gan Meir with their most popular songs. A wigstock happening for all. Date: 1/6

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia

Because someone’s got to talk about the shady part of being a member of the community – an event organized by Youth movements in the city dedicated to stop the discrimination and violence against the LGBT community. Round tables and dialogues lead by teenagers aiming to raise the issue in the public agenda. Date: 17/5

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Water Park Tel Aviv

It’s raining men! The sexiest guys in the world under the sun of Tel Aviv for 12 hours of nonstop fun. Let your inner child enjoy the splashing at Water Park Tel Aviv – the organisers provide an entire day of world-class music by leading DJs. Date: 2/6

Dykes on Bikes

This one’s for the ladies! The pride parade will be led by groups of women, both locals and from the USA, riding their branded bikes along the route. Following Dykes on Bikes will be a group of 50 women riding Tel O Fun bicycles. Date: 3/6

This year’s main topic is “Women in the Community”

…and that includes the transgender ladies as well. As the Tel Aviv City Hall published in it’s annual open letter: “By putting the transgender community at the forefront of Pride 2015 we hoped to promote the visibility of this community, gather support for their achievements and give a helping hand to their future efforts in their fight for recognition and equal rights. Tel Aviv is proud to continue supporting the LGBT community in general and the transgender community in particular.”

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The Tel Aviv  municipality invests resources, thought and creativity in the gay community by supporting the LGBT community center which acts as the base for the “Transition” organization and by encouraging gay tourism. In addition the Tel Aviv municipality helps finance temporary housing for transgenders and a project for encouraging the integration of transgender youths and young adults into the work market.  Detailed info about all the events: www.visit-tel-aviv.com