North Karelia Pride 2019

Program for 2019 now out! See below.

May 15th – May 19th, 2019


North Karelia Pride is an annual LGBTIQ-event in North Karelia. It is organized by Pohjois-Karjalan Seta, 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: April 21st 2019

Tuesday 14.5.

LGBTIQA+ Friendly Mass at 5 pm. Joensuu Main Church (Papinkatu 1B). Afterwards tea is served at congregation center  (Kirkkokatu 28). Organised by Joensuu Evangelical Lutheran congregation.

Doc Lounge Goes Pride at 6 pm. Kerubi (Siltakatu 1). Cassandro The Exotico. Co-organised by Pohjois-Karjalan elokuvayhdistys.

Rainbowish Poetry Karaoke and open mic
Sointula (Kirkkokatu 22), from 8 pm to 9.30 pm. For poetry freaks!. Co-organised by Ukri ry.

Wednesday 15.5.

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

Meet The Author: Tapani Heinonen from  4.30 pm. to 6 pm at Taiteiden aukio, Joensuu Main Library (Koskikatu 25). Come and meet the author Tapani Heinonen. Co-organized by Vaara library network and Ukri ry.

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

Own Your Dance -dance workshop From 4pm ’til 6 pm (Kerhotalo Rupla, Sairaalakatu 27). Own Your Dance is  workshop for lgbtiq* -people.

Salsalaituri Pride-hengessä. From 4pm ’til 6 pm (by Suvantosilta). Come to learn and dance salsa or just enjoy the athmosphare! Also some bachataa and kizombaa. Co-organised by Salsa del Este ry.

Evening for trans-people. From 4pm ’til 6 pm at Helmi (Rantakatu 23A, basement, inner yard).   Peer support group. Welcome! We will watch a film together.

Thursday 16.5.

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

Panel Discussion Event: Safety. (ENGLISH INTERPRETATION AVAILABLE) From 5pm ’til 7 pm at Art Center Ahjo (Kirkkokatu 23). As Introduction to the theme: short film The Search for Sunrise. Foreword: Matt Mahmood-Ogston, Naz and Matt Foundation, Great Britain. 

Joensuu LGBTIQ-Hangout (Open English Speakers’ Group) 6 pm in Helmi (Rantakatu 23A, basement, inner yard). Come to hangout and meet people, exclusively in English! Afterwards we go together to sing karaoke!

Rainbow KARAOKE! from 8 p.m. ’til 11.30 p.m. LGBTIQA+ Friendly Karaoke at Bar Kolumbus (Niinivaarantie 50). Co-organised by Bar Kolumbus.

Friday 17.5.

Pride-week Infopoint
From 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at shopping center Iso Myy. Ask anything you want to know about North

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.

PRIDE-CAFE 5pm til 9pm at Helmi (Rantakatu 23A, basement, inner yard). Non-alcoholic drinks and snacks and relaxing.

Guided Walk:  Queer Joensuu.  From 7pm ’til 9pm. Starting point at PRIDE-CAFE. How does Joensuu look like throught Queer lences? Guided by researchers Iiris Lehto ja Anni Rannikko from UEF.

Saturday 18.5.

Cykle fo Equality! 11 am. Start in front of Pakkahuone (Rantakatu 2). Short and Long route available.  co-organised by Joensuun Polkijat.

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

Pride Fest
At 3 p.m. Pride March ends the Main marketplace. Live music and relaxing until early evening! Performing: Kantriseireenit, Matti Sakari ja Outo toive, Alieu Kamara, Mael Ström.

Susiraja Drag Race 7pm at Hotel and Night cub Kimmel (Itäranta 1). The most corgieous Drag Contest in Eastern Finland!Eight contestants plus performers: Circus Mystique and Arabellum, Mamanna Bupsi, Cloud BeDevil. Chair of jury: Lady Clapback. Tickets: 10€. Free admission for memebers of Pohjois-Karjalan Seta Hobiles ry. Membership:

The Big Pride Disco Party and Eurovision Song Contest!
The Official Pride Party in Hotel Night Club Kimmel. From 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. Eurovision Song Contest Final on big screen! Same ticket is valid as for Drag Race!

Sunday 19.5.

Workshop: Weaving Frames From 2pm ’til 6pm at Helmi (Rantakatu 23A, basement, inner yard). Workshop of weaving technique frame weaving for alla ages. We will use rainbow colours! Tutors: Milka Kuivalainen ja Laura Kupiainen.

Panel Discussion: Discrimination Free Sports Club 2pm at Itä-Suomen Liikuntaopisto (Länsikatu 15). 

Street Basket 5pm at Lyseo School yard  (Koskikatu 8). Come to play basketball in good company!

Pride Exhibitions

Art Exhibition: Miska Tujula andReima Hirvonen (Eno Library, Alapappilantie 6 D, Eno)

15.-19.5. Book Exibitions in local libraries featuring LGBTIQA+ Friendly books:
Enon kirjasto (Alapappilantie 6 D, Eno)
Uimaharjun kirjasto (Harjunraitti 9, Uimaharju)
Nurmeksen kirjasto (Kötsintie 2, Nurmes)

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