Pride parades and events celebrating queer life have sprung up all over the country, spreading joy and love across the land. 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:
The city of Atlanta holds its Pride Festival in the fall (October 8 & 9 in Piedmont Park, this year), but continues to commemorate the Stonewall Riots with several events June 18-26, like the East Point Possums Show, Georgia Equality’s Evening for Equality, and the Sylvia Rivera Stonewall Community Event. See the Atlanta Pride website for more details.
Houston’s annual Pride Festival and Parade on Saturday, June 25, 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.
The 2011 Twin Cities Pride Festival is scheduled for June 25 & 26 in Minneapolis’ Loring Park. Event organizers have lined up Debbie Gibson, Kaci Battaglia, 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 2011 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade steps off on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. along Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.
The Nashville Pride Fest is held in Riverfront Park in Downtown Nashville. This year it takes place on June 18. As America’s Music City, entertainment at Nashville’s Pride Fest will be headlined by Kimberly Caldwell as well as other locally and nationally renowned acts. Admission is only $5 but you can purchase a VIP ticket for $50 that includes food, soda, and some alcohol.
Portland’s Pride 2011 will run from June 17-June 19 and is focusing on going green this year. The theme is “Make It Happen.” Events include the Drag Race, Pet Parade, and Waterfront Festival. More information will become available on the Portland Pride website.
The San Diego Pride Festival 2011 is planning on upwards of 50,000 participants at Balboa Park on July 16 & 17 with multiple stages for entertainment, 300 vendors, an art exhibit, and tons of great food. The festival and parade are preceded by the Spirit of Stonewall Rally on July 15. 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’s theme is “In Pride We Trust.” 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 25, and wrap up at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. You can purchase a good view of the parade with Grandstand tickets ($35) or get premier access to the festivities with VIP Pride Passes.
Seattle’s 2011 Pride Parade is on June 26 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 2011 St. Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade on June 25 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 Pride Weekend events themselves run Thursday, June 24 through Sunday, June 26.