10 LGBT Pride Events and Festivals To Visit This Year
Rainbow flags waving, drag queens marching and glitter everywhere, must be Pride! Cities celebrate the local LGBT community and strives made over the past 40+ years since the first Pride day in June 1970, a year after the Stonewall Riots. The celebrations this year are bigger than ever since last year's Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriages in the USA. Here is where to celebrate with LGBT festivals and events all over the country.
DC Capital Pride
When: June 11-12
Join thousands to watch the Capital Pride parade on Saturday, June 11. It kicks off at 4:30 p.m., travels through Dupont Circle and 17th Street, and ends in the Logan Circle neighborhood roughly around 7:30 p.m. Prior to the parade, there's an official Pride brunch, Crack of Noon ($100/person), which is hosted at Urbana at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar and includes a buffet brunch and a healthy serving of mimosas and bellinis from noon-3 p.m.. Actor Leslie Jordan, the parade's grand marshall, will also be making an appearance. On Sunday, Meghan Trainor will be headlining the 41st annual Pride Festival, taking place on Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. between 3rd and 7th streets.
Rhode Island PrideFest
When: June 18
During the second half of each June, Providence hosts Rhode Island PrideFest and Illuminated Night Parade. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the festival takes part along the riverfront on South Water Street Greenway from noon to 8pm. It is then followed by the only illuminated night Pride parade in New England and one of the few in the country.
Gay Pride Houston
When: June 25
The last week in June is prime time for festivals all over the country. huge. If you’re in the South, Houston Pride is the fourth largest in the USA and one of the oldest pride events in the South. Last year it moved from the Montrose neighborhood to City Hall in Downtown where the city's own "Stonewall" occurred in 1977, as thousands protested against Anita Bryant, an anto-gay activitst. Since the city is considered Space City, this year’s costume theme for the festival and parade is space and futuristic.
San Francisco Pride
When: June 25-26
The largest LGBT celebration in the country, hundreds of thousands of people will line the streets and descend on the annual downtown parade and two-day festival for the 46th Annual San Francisco Pride. The festival takes place in front of City Hall at Civic Center Plaza — the same spot where Harvey Milk addressed the crowd in 1978 during "Gay Freedom Day.” The Parade, which takes place on Sunday morningt, kicks off from Beale Street along Market and ends at Market and 8th Street in the heart of the downtown. Expect over 200 parade contingents and floats with tons of fabulousness representing a huge range of causes and beliefs - including the 400+ loud and proud Dykes on Bikes motorcycle group.
When: August 13-19
A historically, major LGBT destination year-round, Ptown, named the gayest city in America by the US Census Bureau, plays host to several major LGBT celebrations in July and August. Carnival has to be the biggest, consider one of the largest outdoor celebrations in Massachusetts, and attracts around 90,000 revelers from all walks of life to celebrate diversity and the community. Events during Carnival include a vendor fair, boat cruise, dance parties, inn strolls and the must-see Parade.
Chicago Northalsted Market Days
When: August 13-14
One of the largest street festivals in the Midwest, Northalsted Market Days takes place on Chicago’s Halsted Street in Boystown (the first officially recognized gay village in the U.S). Although geared towards the LGBT community, it is open to all. Unique artisans and crafters gather at the two-day event and past musical performances have included Neon Trees, Karmin, Olivia Newton-John, Salt-N-Pepa and others. The festival also attracts local craft breweries, food trucks and other off-beat culinary institutions. A $10 donation is request that goes to support The Legacy Project, the first outdoor museum which features LGBT icons thoughout history.
New Orleans Southern Decadence
When: August 31-September 5
Also known as Gay Mardi Gras, Southern Decadence is ultimate gay party in New Orleans for both locals and visitors. The annual six-day event held over Labor Day Weekend, hits a high with a parade through the French Quarter on the Sunday. The corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets is considered to be the epicenter of Gay New Orleans, so expect street parties to take place here throughout the weekend. Also, at this intersection you can find the largest gay nightclub in town, The Bourbon Pub Video Bar and Parade dance club.
Miami Celebrate Orgullo
When: September 15 - October 15
While Miami Pride takes place every April, Celebrate Orgullo, or Hispanic LGBT Pride, takes place in September through October to coincide with Hispanic History Month and LGBT History Month. This year, Celebrate Orgullo’s events will include salsa dance contests, an artists showcase at the LGBT Visitors Center, a jazz series, and the Orgullo Carnaval at Museum Park on the final night. The lively outdoor festival features multiple stages, international talent, workshops, games and other activities taking place in downtown Miami’s 55 acre Museum Park, which is adjacent to the PAMM & Science Miami museums.
Las Vegas Pride
When: October 22-23
In the past decade, Vegas has become a premier destination for LGBT travelers thanks to its wide variety of LGBT-driven entertainment, dining, nightlife and special events year round. If visiting Vegas this summer, make sure to check out the weekly LGBT pool party, Temptation Sundays, at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. If you happen to be there in October, Las Vegas Pride annual parade happens October 22 in Downtown Las Vegas and festivities continue in Sunset Park throughout the weekend. That weekend also is the World Gay Rodeo Finals. Spectators can enjoy a multitude of events from bull riding and roping to barrel racing and steer decorating as well as the crowning of the TGRA royal court.
Palm Springs Halloween
No one does Halloween quite like Palm Springs. A gay mecca since Hollywood made the desert city it’s playground in early 1900s, Palm Springs hosts several events during the days leading up to and on All Hallows Eve. Halloween night head to Arenas Road to scopt out some of the most incredible, over-the-top costumes. All are welcome to enter the contest or come to enjoy the talent and contestants dance around the stage, while the local bars and restaurants hosts parties.