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The ultimate guide to Madrid's WorldPride 2017

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The ultimate guide to Madrid's WorldPride 2017
Pride celebrations in Madrid last year. Photo: AFP
17:44 CEST+02:00
The Spanish capital has the privilege of hosting the WorldPride celebration this year, with two million people expected to visit. Here's what you need to know to make the most of the week-long festivities.

World Pride calls itself “the most important worldwide event for the LGBT community”, and officially kicks off on Friday, June 23rd. But the partying won't stop until July 2nd.

So that you don't get lost in the crowd, here's a guide to help you along the way.

Where to party - Chueca

Chueca is known as Madrid's main gay neighbourhood, with a brimming, young nightlife that literally spills onto the streets for pride celebrations.

This is definitely the centre of parties, and where you'll want to go to find a copa or three in between events.

Opening Ceremony - June 23rd and 28th

Celebrations officially kick off on June 23rd at the Teatro Calderón, which is showing the burlesque cabaret show Briefs.

But most of the events won't really start until a launch party on June 28th at the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo, which begins at about 8pm. Known at the Pregón de Orgullo (Proclamation of Pride), this launch event in the heart of Chueca will be the real start of the parties.

Diversity Race - June 25th

This Race for Sexual Diversity will be held at Plaza Colón at 10am with 20,000 runners. It's aim is to celebrate sexual freedom and diversity, as well as to combat LGBT phobia and the exclusion of women in high-profile sports.

Money raised through registration fees for the event will go towards programmes that promote the integration of LGBT individuals and fight discrimination.

Music - June 28th to July 2nd

Spanish as well as international artists are set to appear on stage at the fest, including 2014 Austrian Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst on July 1st during the Gala EuroPride at Puerta de Alcalá.

In a 1990s throwback, Danish singer Whigfield of the hit pop song Saturday Night will turn up at Puerta del Sol on Friday June 30th for the Mr. Gay Pride España event (more on that below).

And if you've ever set foot in a gay club, you've probably danced to the hit It's Raining Men by The Weather Girls, who will also make an appearance on Friday, June 30th at Puerta de Alcalá at 10:45pm.

Keep track of the different stages and performers under the schedule tab of the WorldPride 2017 website here, and find a summary of performers here.

Opening of Pride Village - June 28th

Photo: Madrid tourism office.

The city is opening up Pride Village at the Puente del Rey to host LGBT and human rights groups from around the world. There will be activities for all ages, described as a "party for the whole family".

That means more music, theatre events, workshops, food trucks, as well as arts and crafts. Specifically for kids, there will be Lego-building, face painting and art projects.

High Heel Race - June 29th, 6pm

Photo: AFP

It just wouldn't be pride season in Madrid without this tradition of having often colourfully clad participants race down Pelayo Street as quick as they can. And this year marks the tenth anniversary of this quirky competition.

Prizes for winners include dinners for two, cash, discounts and coupons.

Mr. Gay Pride España 2017 - June 30th, 8:30pm

In another event celebrating its tenth anniversary, Mr. Gay Pride España, finalists will compete to go on to the World contest, representing Spain.

The event kicks off with a tribute to the anniversary, before participants start strutting their stuff at 10pm in Puerta del Sol.

The Parade - July 1st, 6pm

Photo: AFP

This is the main event of the whole week, travelling from Atocha to Colón with floats from various groups “committed to LGBT pride”. Fantastic costumes and body paint will be on full display this day, so you don't want to miss it.

Closing party - July 2nd

The final hurrah on Sunday will be held at the Puerta de Alcalá, featuring more musical performances, and the baton of WorldPride will officially by passed on to New York, which is hosting the celebration in 2019. 

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