Expect parties, performances, politics and pure joy as the 25th edition of EuroPride comes to Stockholm and Gothenburg in the summer of 2018.

I remember the first time I went to Stockholm Pride. It was magical. Sparkles, glitter, costumes, rainbow colours and happy people everywhere. Standing by the cheering sidelines, looking on the train of proud people walking through the capital of Scandinavia I was filled with joy, and a desire to one day join in.

Not that I would have dared to, back then. I was only starting to figure out my sexuality at the time and I told my parents, who very gently asked why I was going, that “I was keen to support human rights”. Which was correct, but not the entire truth. Still, they bought it, and I loved the experience.

As it turns out, it was the first of many Stockholm Pride firsts for me. In years to come there was the Stockholm Pride when I went to my first gay bar, and realised I was definitely bisexual. There was the Stockholm Pride when I first walked in the parade, holding my girlfriend’s hand — and there is this year, which will be be the first when we walk in the parade as fiancés. I can’t wait.

Stockholm Pride. Image: Magnus Liam Karlson/imagebank.sweden.se
What’s more, 2018 will be the first time that Stockholm co-hosts EuroPride.

Whilst Stockholm has held the event twice before (in 1998 and 2008), 2018 will be the first time that the event is co-hosted between two cities — meaning double the festivities and double the opportunity to raise awareness around LGBT issues whilst exploring the beauty of Scandinavia.

Kicking off in Stockholm on 27 July, the event will host 400 seminars, two pride parades and three weeks of activism and celebration. With the Stockholm celebrations culminating on 5 August, Gothenburg will take over from the 14th and the whole thing will finish on 19 August. The official EuroPride parade will be hosted by WestPride on 18 August.

Swedish Pride celebrations have always been well known for their political focus; activism and the strive for equality has long been key here. Combine that with the fact that so much great music emerges from Sweden, not least plenty of Eurovision bangers, and you can expect a party with a bang.

As a visitor to Sweden, you might want to see one or both of the celebrations — after all, there is plenty to see and do in Sweden in and around these two cities.

Read more about EuroPride here.