– Celebrating Pride Across the U.S.
By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Even though June and Pride Month is coming to close with more than 100 celebrations and parades across the country, there are still plenty of options to get on the pride circuit and celebrate the colors of the rainbow the rest of the summer – so here’s a lineup of some of the best pride parties!
As official Pride Month, June hosts the majority of pride celebrations across the nation. In fact, more than 100 pride festivals take place during June, and if you’re quick you can still make a few of them!
Chicago Pride Parade – June 30
Even though the actual Pride Fest in Boystown with an incredible lineup of parties and DJs is over (June 16-17), you can still catch the Pride Parade on June 24. See where it goes and where all the after parties will take by visiting chicagopridecalendar.org.
New York City Pride – June 23-24
Spanning over two weeks the NYC Pride culminates on the weekend of June 23-24 with the Pride Fest and Pride Island, which will offer headlining acts like Tove Lo, Lizzo, and Kylie Minogue, which is reason enough for most to take an impromptu trip to the Big Apple. Ticket info at nycpride.org.
San Francisco Pride – June 23-24
As one of the original cities that organized demonstrations following the Stonewall Riots, which later grew into a Pride celebration, San Fran’s pride is a spectacle of diversity and generations of queer strength. The Castro is the focal point of it all, and the amazing parade goes down Market Street. More at sfpride.org.
July is definitely more chill following the intense June and offers some excellent opportunities to continue the celebration of pride.
Provincetown – Bear Week (July 7-15) & Family Week (July 28-Aug 4)
P-Town’s offerings are perfect for those seeking a less ‘circuity’ environment. Bear Week is nine days of pool parties, beach outings, dance parties, and leather events, while Family Week is mainly for LGBTQ families with opportunities to relax and participate in family-oriented activities. Check out ptownbears.org and ptownfamilyweek.com for more.
San Diego Pride – July 7-15
A festival, a rally, a massive parade, and a dedicated She Fest makes the San Diego Pride a good West Coast option to visit. See more at sdpride.org.
San Francisco – Up Your Alley – July 28-29
This Folsom Street Event is best described as the even kinkier sibling to Folsom. The weekend presents a lineup of parties, events, and a Sunday fair that will be on the wilder side of the BDSM spectrum. See more at folsomstreetfair.org/upyouralley/.
August warms up again with some good pride celebrations now that summer is at its peak!
Austin Pride – August 11
The Fiesta Gardens will be taken over for an extensive Pride festival and ensuing parade. Please note that the date for the Austin Pride has changed, so it is now on August 11! See more at austinpride.org.
Chicago Market Days – August 11-12
The massive street party and festival takes up Boystown on Halsted Street from Belmont to Addison and is attended by visitors on hundreds of thousands. See more at northalsted.com/marketdays.
Key West Pride – August 15-19
If you have ever been to the tip of the Florida Keys, you know that this is a fun place to be if you’re gay – and the Key West Pride makes it even more fun! This year’s theme is fittingly Tropical Heat, so get ready to get hot and soak up some fun in the sunshine. More at tropicalheatkw.com.
New Orleans Southern Decadence – August 30 – September 3
Labor Day weekend in New Orleans is something else. The famous Bourbon Street is transformed into a gay street party where you will probably catch some slightly debaucherous things going on… More at southerndecadence.net.
Even though summer is coming to an end, there are still plenty of hot pride celebrations to attend.
Burning Man – August 25 – September 3
In the middle of the desert in Black Rock, NV, Burning Man is celebrated annually with a themed festival and party that pure and radical self-expression, inclusion, and immediacy. This year’s theme is ‘I, Robot’ which will no doubt give inspiration to inventive costumes and happenings in the name of self-expression. burningman.org
Folsom Street Fair – September 30
Although it has lost a little of its original, raw flair, this leather festival is still a great option if you want to explore or expand your leather kink side. Lots of events, parties, and happenings evolve around the kinky street fair to so check out folsomstreetevents.org/folsom-street-fair/ for more.
Charleston Pride – September 22
You can actually catch the annual Pride on the Harbor Cruise this weekend in Charleston, but if you can’t make that, the September Pride in the Southern gem is recommendable. See more at charlestonpride.org.
With the Pride (and summer) season coming to a close, you can find some excellent pride festivals that celebrate sexually diverse communities.
Atlanta Pride – October 12-14
As the most significant pride in the Southeast, Atlanta offers an extensive official pride schedule, all centered around Piedmont Park, and with an amazing opening party at the Georgia Aquarium. It does, however, also offer a considerable ‘unofficial’ program for the emerging queer underground scene. See more at atlantapride.org.
Las Vegas Pride – October 19-21
Pride in Las Vegas includes outdoor activities, a festival, a drag queen pageant, and a bunch of parties in the city of sin. The absolute highlight is the parade, a glittering and glamorous spectacle, which takes place at night on the 19th. More at lasvegaspride.org.
Orlando Pride – October 13
In lieu of the Pulse massacre two years ago, the pride in Orlando has become even more of a beautiful and intense celebration of inclusion, awareness, and love. See more at comeoutwithpride.com.
*Feeling like some international Pride flair? Check out the current issue of Fenuxe with a lineup of European Pride festivals.