Pride parades and events celebrating queer life have sprung up all over the country, spreading joy and love across the land. Pride events are powerful displays of diversity, acceptance, and celebration, and many of the larger parades take on a Mardi Gras-like character involving floats, dancers, drag queens, and music. Everyone is welcome at pride events whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or straight.
Most pride events occur annually in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a pivotal moment in the modern LGBT rights movement, though it is possible to find pride events throughout the summer months and even into October. Here is just a sampling of upcoming pride events.
In the United States
The city of Atlanta holds its Pride Festival in the fall (October 9 & 10 in Piedmont Park, this year), but continues to commemorate the Stonewall Riots with several events June 19-26, like the East Point Possums Show, Georgia Equality’s Evening for Equality, and the Sylvia Rivera Stonewall Community Brunch.
Houston’s annual Pride Festival and Parade on Saturday, June 26, is a multi-block celebration of the LGBT community featuring a variety of performers on several stages. The Pride Festival is a great way to experience the community and its history, and visit the many booths of local vendors.
For years, the Mid-South Pride Festival and Parade has been held in mid-June. However, due to concerns about extreme summer heat, this year’s festivities have been rescheduled for October 16, to coincide with National Coming Out Day.
The 2010 Twin Cities Pride Festival is scheduled for June 26 & 27 in Minneapolis’ Loring Park. Event organizers have lined up the Village People with CeCe Peniston and local artists for the main Pride in Concert on Saturday night along with over 400 vendors, several organized sporting events, and a dance tent. The 2010 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade steps off on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. along Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.
The San Diego Pride Festival 2010 is planning on upwards of 50,000 participants at Balboa Park on July 17 & 18 with multiple stages for entertainment, 300 vendors, an art exhibit, and tons of great food. A single day pass is $20 at the gate, or order your tickets early to save (one-day $15, two-day $25).
The San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade is still the granddaddy of all Pride events. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the event with a “Forty and Fabulous” theme. The San Francisco Pride event is free to the public and features over 200 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, and 19 entertainment stages and venues. The festivities kick off at noon on Saturday, June 26, and wrap up at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.
As the Hostess City of the South, Savannah has attracted an eclectic population and is an intriguing and beautiful setting for a pride event. The 11th Annual Savannah Pride Festival will be on Saturday, September 11 in lush, gorgeous Forsyth Park.
Seattle’s 2010 Pride Parade is on June 27 and steps off at 11:00 a.m. from the corner of Union St. and 4th Ave. then proceeds down 4th Ave. to Denny Way. Expect a dazzling spectacle of floats, outlandish costumes, and dancing in the streets in this high-energy celebration of diversity, community, and unity. Following the parade, tens of thousands are expected at the Seattle Center for one of the biggest free Pride Festivals in the country, and several street parties are scheduled around the downtown area.
The 2010 St. Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade on June 26 is Florida’s largest pride celebration. The Promenade steps off at 10:00 a.m. followed by the Street Festival covering 21st Street to 28th Street on Central Avenue.
The 2010 PrideFest St. Louis will be held at Tower Grove Park on June 26 & 27. In addition to the parade, live entertainment, and vendors, the festival will feature a Pet Parade, a talent show, and Commitment Ceremonies.
The annual Pride Calgary celebration is scheduled for August 4 & 5 this year, with the parade stepping off from 8th Street and 8th Avenue SW on Saturday. The festival will be on Sunday, at Olympic Plaza featuring street vendors, a beer garden, a stage with DJs and entertainment, and a Kid Zone for the little ones.
The 2010 Okanagan Pride Festival runs August 11–15 this year, kicking off on Wednesday, August 11, with a screening of Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride, followed on Thursday with the 2nd Annual Best Ball Golf Tournament, and the main festival on Saturday, August 14, at Kelowna City Park.
The August 1, Vancouver Pride Parade & Festival is focusing on liberation and what it means to be free this year. The parade steps off at noon at Robson and Thurlow and runs through the heart of downtown Vancouver. Celebrations continue after the parade at the Sunset Beach festival site showcasing local artists and performers, over 100 vendor booths, and drinking and dancing at the beer garden.
British Columbia’s capital city will hold several pride events June 27–July 4, like a drag baseball game, Gaga for Pride, the Big Gay Dog Walk, and more, culminating with a parade and festival on July 4. The parade steps off at noon, followed by the festival beginning at 1:00 p.m. at MacDonald Park. Expect live bands, drag performances, vendors, a food fair and beer garden, and children’s entertainment.