Dreaming of a Pink Christmas: Tel Aviv Launches Winter LGBT Festival

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A beach in Tel Aviv, December 24, 2014. The 'Snowman' marks the start of a two week Gay Winter Festival taking place from 24 December to January 7, 2015.Credit: AFP

Tel Aviv launches a two-week festival for gays and lesbians on Friday in a bid to draw tourists during the relatively warm and sunny holiday season in the Mediterranean metropolis.

Tens of thousands of revelers are expected at the opening day's street party, said Hannah Confino, a spokeswoman for the Pink Winter festival.

Known as the gay capital of the Middle East, Tel Aviv's pride week and parade in June draws tens of thousands each year, but this is the first time the city has also organized a winter festival.

The Israeli coastal city is known for its ever-growing gay summer event, but "what we say is that Tel Aviv stays gay all year around," said Confino.

"So we're tapping into the potential of people from Europe during the holiday season, where it's cold right now, and the average temperature in Tel Aviv is going to be 20 degrees, relatively hot, especially compared to Europe," she said.

Pink Winter will last until January 7 and include a gay film festival, a Eurovision song night, beach chill-out parties, exhibitions, open studios and workshops.

A discount ticket for 30 euros gives entrance to all main events, including parties, theatre and dance performances, and screenings.

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