Tension was high with organisers, police and private security when the 300 or-so participants in the 2009 Rainbow Friendship parade gathered on Lovers' Bridge behind Sofia's National Palace of Culture (NDK).
Between the blue flags along the edge of the bridge, a multi-coloured sea of balloons, flags and helmets formed.
Organisers handed out coloured, plastic construction-helmets to participants, a tongue-in-cheek reference to last year's violence that surrounded Bulgaria's first gay pride parade.
The press had arrived in large numbers, expecting a repeat of last year's stand-off with ultra-nationalists.
Instead, they were offered colourful photo-opportunities by Bulgarian and foreign participants.
Two boys positioned themselves smack in the middle of one of the banners and started a long, demonstrative public kiss. Within seconds they were the focus of every camera on the bridge.
At the head of the parade itself was an open truck with a DJ and several dancers; both leather-boys and transvestites.
When the parade reached the corner of Graf Ignatiev and Vasil Levski, the dancers had to leave the truck, causing some commotion among guards. "Move, move, move," one uniformed police officer tried to persuade the head of the parade to continue its route.
Once inside the Red House, a sense of relief and pride filled the air. They had done it!