ARCTIC STORIES Finland’s northernmost Pride festival is painting the city of Rovaniemi in rainbow colours this weekend with events ranging from roller derby to danceoke.
A Pride festival and parade were first organized in Rovaniemi in 2013.
“The first organizers felt that we need to have our own happening here in the north to promote equality. The number of people attending has shown that they were right”, producer Riina Mattila explains.
Arctic Pride is expecting some 1500 people to participate. The weekend had a frosty start, as the first item on the programme was ice swimming. The event caters for all tastes with an ice hockey match, a discussion on literature, various clubs and a rainbow devotion.
Photographer Tiina Mäki has documented Pride events in the north of Finland. Her photos - two of which you can also see above and below - are on show in Hostel Café Koti until March 17.
The 2018 Pride theme is “Together we are more”. The volunteers organizing the event want to enrich the city's cultural life and increase the visibility of LGBTQIA issues.
Arctic Pride prides itself on being a family event.
“This year we have drawing contest and a picture hunt game for children. Many families with children will join our parade on Saturday”, Riina Mattila says.
The theme for the parade is Arctic nature. Snowy Lapland offers a unique setting for Arctic Pride, and the organisers promise that however low the temperatures, the atmosphere will be warm.
When other Pride events sell T-shirts or rainbow jewellery, the Arctic Pride shop offers woollen socks and mittens knitted by the volunteers.
Photos (c) Tiina Mäki