Thousands revel in Stockholm for Pride

An estimated half a million people are expected to hit the streets of Stockholm on Saturday to take part in the capital's annual Pride Parade, news agency TT reports. 

"It's amazing that so many are calling for equal rights and equality," said the festival's Sandra Ehne.

The 18th annual Stockholm Pride ends today with the traditional parade, which began at 1 p.m. from the Mariatorget public square on the island of Södermalm.

Pia Olofsson, 21, and Elin Ulfhager, 20, came out to watch the parade and see the event as both a festive and an important occasion.

"We need to stand up for human rights. Everyone should be who they want to be, everyone should love who they want, everyone should live their lives and feel the love just as they want," Ulfhager told TT.

This year's parade involves almost 200 different organizations, companies, trade unions and political parties with floats in the parade, about 40 more than last year.

Stockholm's parade is already the largest of its kind in the Nordic region. The organizers expect to break last year's attendance record.

In 2014, there were about 40,000 participants in the parade, and an estimated 400,000 who attended the procession.