All the Pride Parades in Croatia

LAST UPDATED: 22/6/2021

Currently, Croatia has two LGBTQIA+ Pride parades: Zagreb Pride and Split Pride. They are held in June every year. The number of participants in the parades rises every year and we can see the progress within the LGBTQIA+ community.

In this post, we’ll talk about the history of each parade in Croatia including interesting information on other pride events. We invite you to come and support LGBTQIA+ rights and the community of Croatia. Pride is always a big party. If you come, you will have fun!

In this post, we’ve covered:

Let’s march for freedom…

Zagreb Pride Parade March
Image by Zagreb Pride

 #1 Zagreb Pride Parade

Zagreb Pride was the first LGBTQIA+ Pride march in Croatia as well as in Southeast Europe. It takes place every year in June in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. The Pride march was inspired by the Stonewall riots that took place in New York City in 1969. Stonewall is considered by the LGBTQIA+ community to be the most important event that led to the modern gay liberation movement and The Gay Liberation Front.

Zagreb Pride is a completely volunteer-based event and organized by the NGO Zagreb Pride, a queer-feminist and anti-fascist organization. They fight for the achievement of social justice and systematic improvement of LGBTQIA+ rights through advocacy for the public good.

The first Pride was held in June 2002 and it was quite risky. It was the first gay event in Croatia and the society as a whole wasn’t informed about the LGBTQIA+ community at the time. There were around 200 participants who were insulted by homophobic opponents. They were shouting homophobic catchwords such as “Kill the Serb”, “Fags to concentration camps”, “Heil Hitler”, etc. Some also threw teargas at the participants.

In recent years, Croatian society has become more liberal and open-minded. In 2019, ~10.000 people participated in the march. People from all the parts of the country come to Zagreb every year to celebrate and show support for LGBTQIA+ rights, including a number of public figures including Mirela Holy (a politician), Daniela Trbović (a television presenter), Nina Violić (an actress), Mile Kekin (a musician), Edo Popović (a writer), and many more.

The parade ends at Ribnjak (view map), a beautiful park in the center of Zagreb where several bands play their songs and everybody celebrates!

You can donate to Zagreb Pride here.

XX Povorka ponosa LGBTIQ zajednice, osoba i obitelji (20th Pride Parade of LGBTIQ Community, Persons, and Families)
When: July 3, 2021, 14:30
Where: Mimara Museum, Rooseveltov trg 5, Zagreb
View Facebook event

Past Zagreb Pride Events

Prajd Partycipacija za slobodu izbora (Pride Participation for Freedom of Choice)
When: Friday, June 26, 2020, 22:00 – 4:00
Where: Spunk Night Club, Hrvatske bratske zajednice b.b., Zagreb

View Facebook event

XIX Povorka ponosa lgbtiq osoba i obitelji (19th Pride Parade of LGBTIQ Persons and Families)
When: September 19, 2020, 15:00 – 20:00
Where: Mimara Museum, Rooseveltov trg 5, Zagreb
View Facebook event

Image by Ponosni Zagreb

#2 Zagreb Pride Ride

The first Pride Ride was organized in Zagreb in June 2020. It was formed as a reaction to the COVID-19 epidemic and earthquake consequences. [Read: How to prepare for and handle an earthquake in Croatia]

Its goal is to prevent the restriction of rights and reduction of representation of members of the LGBTQIA+ society in public and media spaces.

The second Pride Ride in Zagreb was held in June 2021. It gathered ~500 participants who were riding their bikes through the main streets of Zagreb. Many public figures joined the ride, including Danijela Dolenec, a deputy mayor of Zagreb, and Sandra Benčić, a prominent member of the Croatian Parliament.

The Pride Ride is organized by an initiative “Proud Zagreb” (Ponosni Zagreb). It is an informal group of LGBTQIA+ activists who are engaged in the protection of human rights.

Past Pride Ride Events

Pride Ride 2021
When: Saturday, June 5, 2021, 16:30
Where: Park stara Trešnjevka, Zagreb

View Facebook event

Pride Ride 2020
When: Saturday, July 4, 2021, 17:30 – 21:00
Where: Mimara, Zagreb

View Facebook event

Split Pride Parade 2018

#3 Split Pride Parade

Split Pride is an event equal to the Zagreb Pride which also promotes LGBTQIA+ rights. The first Split Pride was organized in June 2011. It was only the second city to have a Pride parade, after Zagreb. This movement was extra risky since Split is well known as a conservative city.

The first Split Pride was a big step for the LGBTQIA+ community, but a lot of bad things happened. Around 300 activists marched through the city. They were drastically outnumbered by opponents. Anti-gay protestors marched and threw rocks, teargas, and bottles at the Pride activists. Unfortunately, the police didn’t protect them effectively.

The second Split Pride was more successful, gathering around 700 participants, including some from the neighboring countries. Many public figures also marched, including Predrag Lucić (theater director), Ante Tomić (a writer), Vesna Pusić (a politician), Damir Urban (a musician), Boris Dežulović (a journalist), and many more. Around 900 police officers were engaged to protect the participants.

Split Pride has grown significantly over the years and it has become more accepted and even embraced by parts of the local community. It is important to note that there is still a heavy police presence every year to ensure protection for the participants. Since 2011, the parade walks through the city center every June, ending on Narodni Trg (view map). Tourists and locals alike often join in.

Past Split Pride Events

The Split Pride Parade was canceled for 2020 and there was another event scheduled instead.

Pride Pazar
When: June 21, 2020, 18:00 – 22:00
Where: Turska Kula, Park mladosti bb, Split
View Facebook event

#4 Osijek Pride Parade

In September 2014, Osijek was the third city in Croatia to host an LGBTQIA+ Pride parade. Many people from Serbia and Greece came to support the Osijek Pride. After Osijek Pride, Croatia became the first country in the region to hold three or more Pride parades.

Unfortunately, the idea of the Osijek Pride didn’t survive past the first, and 2014 was the only year it was successfully organized. In 2015, Pride was canceled because the organization team didn’t have enough members.

#5 Rijeka March

In June 2012, Rijeka gave its support to the Split Pride by organizing a march similar to Pride, which took place three hours before the start of Split Pride. Three hundred people marched through the city center to show their love and support to the LGBTQIA+ community. Rijeka Pride was planned for the next year, but it was never realized due to a lack of volunteers.

Have you attended a Pride Parade in Croatia? What was your experience? How did it compare to other Prides around the world?

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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