Pride month is here. Which means we’re poised to experience a month’s worth of great block parties and parades meant to elevate, celebrate, and support LGBTQ+ communities worldwide. 2019 marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, the unofficial beginning of the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in America, so this year’s celebrations are poised to be even bigger than ever before. Over the past five decades, Pride marches have spread from New York City to San Francisco, which means you’re sure to be absolutely spoiled for choices no matter where you live.
If you’ve never been to a Pride event, you’re missing out on one of the summer’s biggest, wildest festival scenes. Sure, there’s a human rights angle underpinning the festivities that’s vital to the broader quest for equality in this nation, but make no mistake: Pride is a party. Whether you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community or simply an ally, get out there and celebrate with these marches, parades, and festivals around the country.
Hollywood — The Garland, June 6th
The recently renovated Garland Ballroom will act as the setting for Drag Yourself To The Valley, an evening of queens and drag in North Hollywood, hosted by West Hollywood’s own Billy Francesca with support from RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Vanessa Vanjie and Brooke Lynn Hytes. Tickets for Drag Yourself To The Valley fall under two tiers, a standard ticket will run you $35 while a VIP ticket will cost you $65, but you get a photo and Meet and Greet with a cast of queens — including Kyra Jeté, Porshaa Lejayy, Miami Knight, and Gigi Goode.
Hollywood — LA! Pride, June 8-9
LA! Pride in West Hollywood is one of California’s biggest pride celebrations and for the first time ever they’re setting up a free-to-the-public block party along Santa Monica Boulevard that’ll feature entertainment, vendors, exhibitors, rides, attractions, and beer gardens. The Opening ceremony will kick off in West Hollywood Park on the evening of June 7th with a Weho Vogue Ball & Drag Show, and a performance by Paula Abdul.
For those paying for access to the festival grounds, LA! Pride has pulled together headlining performances by Meghan Trainor, Years & Years and Ashanti, with a stacked lineup of R&B, DJs, and indie acts to keep things moving.
San Francisco — SF Pride, June 29-30
With 200 parade contingents and exhibitors and twenty community-run stages and venues, SF Pride is one largest gatherings of the LGBTQ+ community in the entire nation. Main stage entertainment at this year’s festival includes Amara La Negra and Brazil’s Pablo Vittar, and will feature two days of entertainment from local, national, and international acts right at the steps of San Francisco’s iconic City Hall.
Watch the parade down Market Street from the grandstands, or grab a VIP pass to party under the Rotunda at City Hall, and indulge in hors d-oeuvres catered by Whole Foods and three rooms of non-stop entertainment.
Paint Your Pride, June 14th
Enjoy an evening of drag, drinks, and dancing at Denver Colorado’s ART hotel, for a drag show featuring Denver’s favorite local queens. DJ Leslie Van Stelten will spin at the event, hosted by Michael Garcia. A ticket will get you complimentary valet parking, a night of musical entertainment on the Terrace, and a free welcome cocktail from Keep Vodka. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the Dru Project, a LGBTQ+ advocacy organization that offers scholarships and grants for gay-straight alliances.
Doing good while you party — what more could a reveler ask for!
Denver PrideFest, June 15-16
Denver PrideFest is planning a stacked weekend with three separate stages hosting headlining performances by Todrick Hall, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, and DJ Joe Gauthreaux. Enjoy wild drag shows, powerful vogueing competitions, and inclusive audience contests at the Center Stage, take in the vibrant performers at the U.S. Bank Latin Stage, or simply dance the night away at Smirnoff DanceWorld, which features a wide array of Denver-based and national DJs.
Proceeds for Denver Pride support vital programs and services that aim to positively impact the LGBTQ+ youth of Colorado and is totally produced by nonprofit organization The Center. A VIP ticket will get you premium access to the Center Stage, three complimentary drinks, a catered lunch, free snacks, access to a VIP photo booth, and a special set of unannounced extra activities.
Chicago Pride Fest, June 22-23
Hosted in American’s first officially recognized “gay village,” Boystown, Chicago’s 19th annual Pride Fest regularly draws people from all over the Midwest and is expecting at least 100,000 visitors this year. This year’s festival will feature four stages of music and entertainment, numerous food and drink options, hundreds of vendors, drag shows, pet parades, and a National Anthem Singing contest that is bound to be the sort of the over-the-top fun that makes Pride month such a damn good time.
Performers at this year’s festival include Leann Rimes, Pabllo Vittar, Jaimie Wilson, and Beyy Who. Chicago’s Pride Fest is totally free and open to all ages, though a $10 entry donation is appreciated.
Pride Twin Cities, June 22-23
Visitors of Pride Twin Cities will be treated to over 400 exhibitor booths, 40 food vendors, and four free stages of music, drag, and other performance in the Twin Cities’ Loring Park. While not as big as some of the other Pride festivals on this list, the Twin Cities were able to pull together a headlining performance by TLC, hosted by Miss Monet Xchange to close out the festivities.
If you’re looking for the biggest Pride celebration in all of the country, look no further than Pride Island at NYC Pride. Pride Island has scored some major performances this year, gathering talents like Teyana Taylor, Pabllo Vittar, Kim Petras, and the legendary Grace Jones. Not only is Grace Jones one of the greatest performers you’ll ever get the chance to see, but she’s also been a hero of the LGBTQ+ scene since the late 70s.
World Pride NYC
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, World Pride NYC will play host to 50 different official and sponsored events, allowing you to curate your favorites as you celebrate Pride this year. Whether you’re interested in art, music, and film, wellness, politics, food, or just want to get straight to partying, World Pride NYC has it all, and their site allows you to filter your search by cost and age-appropriate events.
Nashville Pride, June 22-23
Another all-ages event, Nashville Pride brings together over 225 vendors, primarily focusing on not-for-profits, artists, and local businesses, kid-friendly art projects and carnival games, and more entertainment then you’ll know what to do with. Hit the Equality Stage for a headlining set by Neon Trees and TLC, catch the drag performances at the Stonewall Stage, wind-down with an intimate acoustic set at the RNBW stage, or just dance the night away at the Dance Tent.
Pride Houston, June 22nd
Pride Houston totes itself as the largest Pride celebration in all of the southern United States and as a new addition to the celebration, 2019 will mark the first year that Pride Houston hosts the Pride Houston Art Program — a program that aims to highlight Houston-based LGBTQ+ artists by giving them a premium platform in front of a large audience.
Aside from the parade, entertainment will be provided by prominent artists such as Young M.A, Dorian Electra, and DJ Joe Gauthreaux. Admission to the festival grounds and space among the parade route is totally free, and for just $10 you’ll be given access to the main stage plaza and bar, with VIP packages scoring you access to Open bars, air-conditioned bathrooms, and catered food.