Thousands took to the streets in the Mother City on Saturday to celebrate Cape Town Pride 2008.

The annual festival of LGBT culture and identity kicked off on February 22 with a series of events, including exhibitions, parties and seminars, but concluded on Saturday with the annual parade.

Starting at midday, the participants braved a blazing sun with good cheer and enthusiasm as they embarked on the five kilometre circular route from the De Waterkant area.

A series of floats, decorated with the 2008 ‘Heroes’ theme, were accompanies by an estimated 2 500 marchers. Some wore outrageous drag outfits, while other bore messages calling for tolerance.

The ‘07-07-07’ national campaign against hate crimes, founded after the murder of two lesbians in Soweto last year, was prominently featured in the parade: a large contingent of marchers wore t-shirts and held placards demanding an end to violence against lesbians.

After the parade, revellers continued to celebrate throughout the afternoon at De Waterkant at a nearby primary school playground, as well as the various gay bars and restaurants in the area.

Later in the night, many returned to the bars and clubs – with most venues overflowing with patrons onto the streets – to party into the early morning.

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