Conchita Wurst opens Madrid Gay Pride

Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst was the star attraction at the official opening of Madrid’s annual Gay Pride (MADO) festivities on Wednesday night.

Conchita Wurst opens Madrid Gay Pride
Photo: Pierre Philippe Marcou/AFP

Together with Ruth Lorenzo, Spain’s entrant in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Wurst whipped the thousands who had crammed into Madrid’s downtown Chueca plaza into a frenzy, defying the City Hall limit of 45 decibels set for the venue.

There was criticism among revelers for Madrid Mayor Ana Botella of the conservative Popular Party after City Hall’s decision to hold virtually no other events in Chueca square, the epicenter of the Spanish capital’s iconic gay neighbourhood.

SEE ALSO: What's on in Spain: July 2014

According to MADO 2014 organizers, Madrid Gay Pride is set to bring in more than €110 million ($150 million) in extra business to the Spanish capital.

Some two million people are also expected to take part, many of whom will throng the streets for Saturday’s parade vindicating the rights of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community worldwide.

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Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.