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Cologne Pride takes place on bikes

October 11, 2020

Germany's largest LGBT+ Christopher Street Day parade went ahead after being postponed because of the pandemic. Organizers found a solution to ensure social distancing — participants attended on bicycle.

Cyclists in Cologne for the Christopher Day Street Parade
Image: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Germany's largest LGBT+ Pride parade took place in the western German city of Cologne on Sunday, after being postponed from June because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The usual parade with crowds close together and large floats was replaced by hundreds of people on bicycles who traveled across the city. The new concept was brought in to ensure social distancing was possible. Most participants also wore masks.

Cyclists at the Christopher Street Day Parade ride across a bridge in Cologne
Cyclists at the Christopher Street Day Parade ride across a bridge in CologneImage: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

In Germany, Pride parades are known as Christopher Street Day events (CSD) to honor the name of the street in New York where the Stonewall Inn is located and the location of the 1969 riots that kicked off the modern LGBT+ rights movement in western countries.

Green politician Sven Lehmann tweeted a picture of him wearing a rainbow mask, preparing to attend the parade.

Pandemic hits Pride

The parade took place the same week that Cologne brought in fresh restrictions because of rising numbers in coronavirus cases.

Read more: Cologne exceeds key coronavirus threshold, joining Berlin and Frankfurt

Cologne recently instituted a nighttime ban on the consumption of alcohol on streets and squares after 10 p.m., a weekend ban on selling alcohol at party hot spots and a limit of five people from different households meeting in public.

A Pride participant in a rainbow mask
Participants at Cologne Pride had to maintain social distancingImage: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Participants at the Pride event had to register in advance so that organizers could keep track of numbers.

Most Pride events across the world were canceled or postponed this year. Berlin's event went online this year.

Pride in the Northern Hemisphere normally takes place in June.

Stonewall riots: 50 years on

Kommentarbild PROVISORISCH Elliot Douglas
Elliot Douglas Elliot Douglas is a video, audio and online journalist based in Berlin.