‘March of blondes’ cheers up crisis-hit Latvia

RIGA, May 29, 2010 (AFP) – Decked out in pink, their locks glinting in the sunshine, hundreds of blondes marched arm-in-arm through the Latvian capital Riga Saturday, in a bid to raise spirits in the slump-stricken Baltic state. Tourists and locals marvelled as more than 800 blondes wove their way through the streets for the second edition of what organisers say they hope will become a regular annual event.

“I feel very good to be surrounded by so many beautiful women. It’s great to be blonde,” local student Linda told AFP.

For the 19-year-old, who turned out with her dog Sniffs, the event is mostly a fun day out with friends.

“It is just great to do something positive in Latvia and at the same time promote blondes as being fun, positive, intelligent people,” said Ilze, a blonde helping out at the parade.

Started last year by a group of like-minded local blondes, the march aims to bring some cheer to Latvians who have had little cause to smile recently.

The Baltic nation of 2.2 million people is locked in the deepest economic crisis of the 27-nation European Union, after a boom went off the rails and sent its economy shrinking by 18 percent in 2009.

Money collected during the event will be donated