Liza Minnelli made a surprise appearance at Paris' Gay Pride parade on Saturday, Euronews reported.

The gay icon captivated the crowd as she rolled past atop a colorful float. “Freedom,” she cried, and danced for revelers.

Saturday's gay parade celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, often considered the birth of the modern gay rights movement. On June 28, 1969 patrons of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York blocked a police raid on the bar. For five days thousands joined in protest against the police who frequently raided gay bars.

Minnelli, who was in Paris for a concert, made the decision to attend at the last moment.

“We knew she had a concert this evening in Paris but when her agent told us that she could come, we thought it was a joke,” Philippe Castel, a spokesman for event, told the AFP.

“It's really an honor and a great pleasure to have her with us, she's an icon,” he said. “This will bring greater visibility to our fight.”

While France's politics lean liberal, marriage and adoption rights remain out of reach for gay and lesbian couples.

Lawmakers approved civil unions for gay couples in 1999, despite polling that indicated a near majority of voters (49%) approved of gay marriage. By 2008, approval had soared to sixty-two percent.

Paris' openly gay mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, was also on hand to greet revelers. Delanoe heads one of the world's largest cities.