Berlin's Christopher Street Day, an annual gay pride parade, attracted 550,000 people on Saturday, with the costumed crowd following 50 decorated floats.
Gay, lesbian and trans-sexual people dress up, or bare off, every year to march to the city's Victory Column and protest at discrimination against homosexuals. Organizers said this year's attendance was up 10 percent from 2008.
In other German cities, gay groups are to hold similar parades through the summer.
The day began with a shock, when Rudolf Brazda, 96, collapsed and grazed his head and arm during a speech at the national monument to homosexual victims of Nazi persecution.
Brazda suffered in Buchenwald concentration camp from 1941 to 1945.