North Karelia Pride 2019

Below a quick look what happened in 2018 Pride. Check out this video where people are marching in Joensuu 2018:

New program for 2019 will be published here during Spring 2019!

May 16th – May 19th, 2018

North Karelia Pride is an annual LGBTIQ-event in North Karelia. It is organized by Hobiles, the regional member organization of SETA.

This year 2019 the week starts already 15th May and goes on until 19th May.  We have range of events, for example Pride March and Park Fest. And for the second time there is going to be a drag contest:

Susiraja Drag Race K-18! First price 500€.

The pride week has taken place in Joensuu since 2004. Its purpose is to provide everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender, an opportunity to have a good time together.

The event is open for everyone – you are welcome to join North Karelia Pride just the way you are!


Last updated: May 15th 2018

Tuesday 15.5.

Rainbowish Poetry Karaoke
Sointula (Kirkkokatu 22), from 8 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. For poetry freaks! Hosted by local literature celebrities Arto Pippola and Kari Tahvanainen. Co-organised by Ukri ry.

Wednesday 16.5.

Pride-week Infopoint
From 2p.m. until 6p.m at Joensuu Main Library (Koskikatu 25) Ask anything you want to know about North Karelia Pride! Also programmes, posters and merchandise available.

Rainbow literature afternoon
In Taiteiden aukio, Joensuu Main Library (Koskikatu 25), from 4.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Come and meet the author Marja-Sisko Aalto. Co-organized by Vaara library network and Ukri ry.

Youngsters´ Pride Evening
Let’s make and prepare banners and other cool equipment for Saturday Pride March! From 4 pm. until 7 pm. (Setlementti, Niskakatu 4). Co-organized by Joensuun Setlementti.

Pride Restaurant Houmous
Cafe Laituri (Itäranta 10), from 5 p.m. until 8. p.m. Come to feel the Pride athmosphare and enjoy delicious, inexpensive vegan food! Co-organized by Myötävoima cooperative.

Info-evening for the relatives and friends of LGBT+-people
6 p.m. until 78.30. p.m. at Perheentalo (Rantakatu 15). Co-organized by Perhesuhdekeskus.

Joensuu LGBTIQ-Hangout (Open English speakers’ Group)
6 p.m. in Laituri (Itäranta 10). Let´s dine together at Pride Restaurant Houmous! Bowling afterwards…

Bowling Hall Cosmic (Torikatu 29–31), at 8 p.m.  Come and join the fun!

Thursday 17.5.

Pride-week Infopoint
From 1.30 p.m. until 5.30 p.m. Shopping Centre Iso Myy. Ask anything you want to know about North Karelia Pride! Also programmes, posters and merchandise available.

Pride Restaurant Houmous
Cafe Laituri (Itäranta 10), from 5 p.m. until 8. p.m. Come to feel the Pride athmosphare and enjoy delicious, inexpensive vegan food! Co-organized by Myötävoima co-operative.

Doc Lounge Goes Pride
Film Night at Club Kerubi (Siltakatu 1). At 6 p.m. Film: Silvana. Co-organized by Joensuun elokuvan ystävät ry.

Rainbow KARAOKE!
Bar Kolumbus (Niinivaarantie 50), from 8 p.m. ’til 11.30 p.m.

Friday 18.5.

Pride-week Infopoint
From 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Joensuu Main Library (Koskikatu 25). Ask anything you want to know about North Karelia Pride! Also programmes, posters and merchandise available.

Senior LGBT+?
From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Setlementti (Niskakatu 4) Lecture and discussion about plurality of gender and sexual orientation in contest of elderly people. Pre-registration desirable: p. 040-767 2088 /

The Big Pride Debate
At Muikku-sali, Joensuu Main Library (Koskikatu 25) From. 4 p.m. til 6 p.m. Discussion about how LGBT+ needs are met in elderly care now and in the future.

Pride Restaurant Houmous
Cafe Laituri (Itäranta 10), from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Come to feel the Pride athmosphare and enjoy delicious, inexpensive vegan food! Co-organized by Myötävoima co-op.

Nostalgic Dance Party
8 p.m. at Cafe Laituri (Itäranta 10). Disco music, Finnish humppa and  other dance music from 70s, 80s and 9os.  As short introduction, a group of seniors will talk and look back to past decades LGBT-activism in North Karelia. Then FULL ON PARTY, everyone welcome! DJ MuffMuncher.

Saturday 19.5.

Discussion: What Will It Be Like to Be Elderly And LGBT+ in 2050?
At 12 a.m. until 1.30 p.m. at Cafe Laituri (Itäranta 10).  Co-organized by the The Youth Panel of Seta ry.

Annual Pride March
We gather from 1.30 on in front of Joensuu Railway station. The Pride March through the town starts at 2 p.m.  Come as your colourful self!

Pride Park Fest
At 3 p.m. Pride March ends at Ilosaari. Live music and relaxing until early evening! Performing: Linnea von Kattendam, Rebecca Clamp, Antti Elias, Karuselli, Suoliliuos.

Kids´ Pride
Next to the Park Fest in Ilosaari. Bouncy castle, face painting, etc. From 3p.m. until 6 p.m.

Pride Restaurant Houmous
Cafe Laituri (Itäranta 10), from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Come to feel the Pride athmosphare and delicious, inexpensive vegan food! Organiser Myötävoima co-op.

Susiraja Drag Race First ever Drag contest in Joensuu! From 7p.m. until 11 p.m. in Hotel Kimmel (Itäranta 1). Hosted by Arabellum. Chair of jury: Linnea vin Kattendam. Tickets 6€.  (Registration for contest closes April 15th!!)

The Big Pride Disco Party!
The Official Pride Party in Hotel Kimmel. From 11 p.m. until 4 a.m.

Sunday 20.5.

Roller Derby Pride Match

4 p.m Friendly match in Joensuu Urheilutalo (Koskikatu 12). Tickets 4 euroa / Seniors and Students 3 euroa / under 12yrs free admission. Cafe open duting the match (cash only). Co-organized by Joensuu Roller Derby

Pride Exhibitions

Visual Arts: Kai minä.

Exhibition by Reima Juhani Hirvonen, Aulis Harmaala and Kai. Cafe Laituri (Itäranta 10). Open from Thursday to Monday from 11.30 a.m. until 6.30 p.m. and during pride week events.

Pride Week After -Events:

Wednesday 23.5.

Rainbow Mass
Joensuu Main Church (Papinkatu 1B), at 6 p.m. Sermon by Marja-Sisko Aalto.

Saturday 26.5.

Barnhouse Party for Pride Volunteers
In a former barnhouse in secret location, from 7  p.m. until 3 a.m. Legendary happening for the volunteers of North Karelia Pride ONLY!  We leave from Cafe Laituri at 7.15 p.m. and return around 00.00 and 03.00 a.m

Accessibility information: coming here on at later date.


Thank you for your support


 Practical guide

About the history and organizers

A similar event called Hohto has been organised in Joensuu annually for about 10 years. North Karelia Pride is successor to Hohto and is organised largely by the same people. The organisation behind North Karelia Pride is Hobiles ry, a regional HLBTIQ-organisation in Northern Carelia. We are independent group but also as a group member of Seta, the Finnish umbrella organization for HBLTIQ-groups.

The North Karelia Pride Week has a relatively small budget and it is run 100% by volunteers. We get some funding from the City of Joensuu as well as from Seta. We work togethr with local bars and cafes and other businesses and organizations in the city to make Pride Week possible.

The main Pride Day is Saturday the 20th, when we hope hundreds of inhabitants of Joensuu and people from elsewhere in North Karelia and beyond are joining us for Pride March in the afternoon. Lets make it a fun and colorful day to remind people about the presence of HBLTIQ-people in North Karelia!

How to get there (from St Petersburg and Helsinki)

There are loads of different ways to reach Joensuu. The cheapest and easiest is the ride sharing website, where currently one-way trip from St Peter to Joensuu costs 11€ (about 800 roubles). There are quite many ride daily to Lappeenranta, where it is possible to get to Joensuu by bus or by train. It is always best to book tickets in buses and trains in Finland well in advance to get a good price! Train operator is, bus time tables and price you can find in

The cheapest bus operator is, which has two buses daily between Lappeenranta and Joensuu. There is also a coach line nr 995 between Joensuu and St Peter, this costs 2500 roubles one way.

If you want to travel by train, there are several connections between St Peter and Helsinki. If you come to Joensuu, hop off in Kouvola to change train. Prices vary.

People who come from Helsinki can reach Joensuu by train in about four and half hours or by bus in six to eight hours. Especially bus tickets can be relatively cheap when booked in advance in Matkahuolto or Onnibus.

Program and participation

The Pride draft program is available in English on our website

The program is open to anyone who wants to give a workshop in any language. Please contact us for details if you are willing to give workshop or have any suggestions or remarks about the program.

All the events are free unless otherwise stated.


Linnunlahti Camping. Two kilometers from city center, the camping site charges 8€ per tent per night plus 2€ per person. The camping offers pretty nice facilities with free showers, cooking facilities, use sauna and laundry room included. But: There might still be cold nights in Joensuu in May, so be prepared. And sadly we cannot guarantee that it won’t be raining…

Scouts Youth Hostel: Cheapest option. Dormitory bed from 11€ per night. Has also other options.

The Green Star Hotel: Rates are per room, so for groups it can be interesting. Discount by using code PRIDE.

Apartmentos: Also in the cheap end, offers rooms as well as apartments. Discount from 3 nights on, many options.

Other hotels: check for example

Airbnb: inexpensive accommodation in peoples homes.


Myötävoima, a local cooperative serves delicious and wholesome vegan dinner  during the Pride Week in Cafe Laituri, just next to the railway station. The price is approximately 5€ which covers the costs of the ingredients and rent. You can find for example Chinese restaurants, Indian restaurants and pizza restaurants (also vegan pizza) in Joensuu city center as well as some cafes who serve food. Typical price for Lunch is 8 to 10 euro. In Joensuu university (UEF) there are several lunch rooms that operate from 10.30, some until 17 o’clock. The prices are slightly lower than in other restaurants and they cater for vegetarians and vegans too.

Questions? Contact us!

– North Karelia Pride organizers