Belgian Lesbian & Gay Pride is an annual event in Brussels since 1996 (it actually evolved from Pink Saturday gay pride observations that were first held in honor of New York City's Stonewall Riots in Antwerp beginning in 1979). Belgian Pride dates for the next year are May 16 to May 18, 2013, and includes several events through the weekend, all occurring in the city center of this urbane, gay-friendly, and relatively underrated city that's just 300 kilometers northeast of Paris and 200 kilometers south of Amsterdam. Also note that the week preceding Pride is "Rainbow Week" throughout Belgium, and this includes a number of events in other communities.
The festivities commence a week before the big weekend with a Rainbow Parade and reception at Brussels City Hall.
Here's a look at last year's event - details about this 2013 Belgium Gay Pride will be added as information is released.
During Pride Weekend, the Pride Village opens on Friday at 6 pm with a Street Party and lasts until late Saturday night. The Friday party is set in the charming St. Jacques section of the city, along the narrow rue du Marche au Charbon (an area with the city's most popular gay bars). The street is pedestrian-only and filled with shops, open-air cafes, entertainment stages, and vendors displaying information about local GLBT social and political organizations. PrideVillage has different themed centers all around this area, however, including Leather Corner, Latino Corner, Kids Corner, Bear Corner, Arabic Corner, and more - see the map above for locations.
On Saturday at 2 pm, the Pride Parade kicks off along blvd. Anspach, between the Bourse and Place Fontainas, and loops through the neighborhood. There are a number of Pride Parties held throughout the weekend. Following the Pride Parade, there's entertainment at main stage through Saturday evening with Peggy Lee Cooper, Nicolette Street, Mado, La Prohibida, and more. Late that night are several parties, including "Gorgeous at La Tentation, and Beardrop at Tours & Taxis.
Many of the city's gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Check local gay papers, which are distributed at popular gay bars like L'Homo Erectus and TelsQuels. And check out the Brussels Gay Travel Guide by Patroc.com, which is very handy and has extensive information on the local gay scene. Additional excellent trip-planning resources are the handy GLBT site produced by Tourism Flanders, and the Gay Travel site operated by the Belgian Tourist Office.