Auckland Pride Parade draws huge crowds

The return of a Pride Parade to Auckland has been declared a fabulous success.

Twelve years after Hero died, Ponsonby Road has seen the return of strutting drag queens, two-mum families and hairy gay men known affectionately as "bears" - who even brought their own Goldilocks.

Auckland Council pumped funding into the event and Mayor Len Brown has promised it will be back in 2014.

Thousands of people lined the streets to watch the floats go by and shouted, waved and cheered.

The biggest cheer was for the Defence Force group Overwatch. It was the first time members of the armed forces have marched in a gay parade in New Zealand.

Gay Green MP Kevin Hague was on the lead float, and believes the fact marriage equality is so close is one of the reasons people were so excited.

"Another reason is it's been so long since we last had a Hero parade.

"Certainly from that lead float looking out seeing everyone smiling, waving, just really enjoying the day was great."

Labour's Louisa Wall, US Ambassador David Huebner and his partner, and the reigning Mr Gay World, Aucklander Andy Derleth, were also on the lead float.

- Newstalk ZB

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