Every June, Pride celebrations take place in cities across the country, from Los Angeles to Washington DC. But it all started with New York City. The reason Pride is celebrated in June in the first place is to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, during which queer New Yorkers fought for the right to live their truth.
New York is still one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world, bringing the whole community and its allies together for an epic weekend. With all the partying, dancing, marching, and everything else, it can be an overwhelming few days to schedule, but hopefully in the best way.
Luckily for you, we’ve gone ahead and created the ultimate 2022 NYC Pride guide, so that you can focus on what really matters: celebrating progress, toasting the community, and hitting the dance floor until the sun comes up.
Thursday, June 23
While there will be ample opportunities to get your dance on all weekend long, Pride is also about remembrance as well as celebration. Start Pride off on a historical foot by joining the Gay Bars That Are Gone tour, a free community-led walk starting in East Village at 6pm where you’ll learn about queer history in NYC. Over at the New Amsterdam Library in FiDi, there will also be a 5pm local history discussion, centered on how the queer community reclaimed the West Side Piers.
Then, located in one of New York’s most iconic LGBTQ communities, Motto Chelsea is kicking off NYC Pride Weekend with Drinks & Drag Happy Hour starting at 5pm, complete with Drag Queens Pattaya Hart and Andora Official, live performances, specialty cocktails and more.
Later that night, it’s time to hit the dance floor. Skorpios in Midtown East will be hosting a WLW dance party called “Take the Bait” ($20) starting at 9pm, and a free For the Gworls event kicks off at Club Lambda an hour later in Bushwick. In Bed-Stuy, Dyke Beer will be flowing at C’Mon Everybody during their Rebel! Dance party ($8), and disco lovers should make a beeline for Black Flamingo in Williamsburg for their Holy Rollers Disco Pride Party ($20).
Friday, June 24
Friday night is when the real fun begins, starting with the iconic Dyke March from Tompkins Square Park in East Village and ending at Stonewall in the West Village, where the protests for equality first took place in 1969.
Drinks company Avec will be hosting a colorful cocktail activation at The James NoMad featuring edible flowers, and colorful pride-themed fun starting at 5pm, including a live tribute to LGBTQ+ artists.
Or, if absolutely massive dance parties are your thing, Hot Rabbit is throwing one called PRIDAY ($35) at 42 D’Or—a 15,000 square foot event space in Hudson Yards—starting at 4pm and ending a full half day later at 4am. Robyn stans who head to Bushwick’s Three Dollar Bill ($20) starting at 5pm definitely won’t be dancing on their own, and femme-lovers would do well to stop by the Sultan Room’s Pride edition of Raw Honey: Femme Seduction ($35), from 11pm to 4am.
Another erotic-themed party, the legendary HustlaBall ($99) for MLM, will be bringing the heat to Polygon Club in East Willamsburg. The party will feature a rotating set of DJs and a XXL dark room where the most fun will no doubt be taking place.
Later into the night, Brazilian beats will be on full volume at Bushwick’s THE MEADOWS for FRISKY ($50), a dance party that starts at midnight and doesn’t end until the sun is up. Brazilian DJs will keep the music pumping, and there will be a special performance by Grog Queen—winner of the Paramount+ show Queen of the Universe.
Saturday, June 25
Start your Saturday afternoon off with something decidedly less dance-y: a Pride Market at the Hester Street Fair at the South Seaport. Starting at 11am on Pier 17, exclusively LGBTQ+ vendors will have cute artisan wares to covet. Meanwhile, in Chelsea, another queer marketplace begins at 2pm and runs for two days—part of a huge celebration by Live Arts’ Pride, called The House Party. Besides the marketplace in their open air courtyard, there will also be DJ sets to listen to and art installations to see.
Brunch lovers can stop by Vinyl Steakhouse at noon for the debut Pride Listening Party & Drag Brunch ($65) for a raucous interactive drag show, music from the restaurant’s vinyl collection of 2,000 records, and brunch service.
Pride wouldn’t be complete without a circuit party, and NYC Pride’s Fantasy Days ($75) is the official circuit party of the weekend, serving up drink specials and DJ sets at the indoor and outdoor spaces of the Harbor Rooftop on West 46th starting at 2pm.
Across town, also at 2pm, is the long-awaited return of Pride Island ($115), one of the biggest blowout events of every New York Pride (save for the last two years). For the first time, the festivities will take place on Governors Island, with DJ sets throughout the day and a headlining set by pop princess, Kim Petras. If Pride Island isn’t really your thing, you might be more inclined to head to the Knockdown Center in Bushwick for something more avant garde—the return of the Bushwig x Gardens Pride party, called Flowers ($36). Expect DJ sets and drag performances.
For the ultimate chance to brush shoulders with (and see performances by) RuPaul superstars such as Gottmik, Aquaria and Violet Chachki, one of Pride’s other blowout events is Planet Pride ($145), running for a whopping 12 hours at The Brooklyn Mirage. Separated into six parties with three stages, expect sounds from a major lineup that includes Galantis, SG Lewis and a *surprise popstar*.
Come up for some fresh air after all that partying at the 30th Annual Dyke March, which steps off from Bryant Park at 5pm. Thousands of queer folx will then parade down 5th Avenue towards the fountain at Washington Square Park. If you don’t plan on ending up in the fountain at the end of the march, what are you really doing?
It’s only fitting that the Dyke Beer’s free Dyke March afterparty, “Feelin’ Cute” would take place in Bushwick, so grab a G train and find yourself at The Wandering Barman at 9pm. Or don’t, and head to the bklyn boihood pride party ($25) at The Bell House—an annual affair since 2010 whose dance floors have provided “a sacred space for Black, queer, and trans folks to be in community with each other, and to feel safe, seen, and celebrated.”
Sunday, June 26
Kick your Sunday off with an extravagant Pride brunch at No Bar at the Standard East Village where queer chefs will be cooking up magic in the kitchen for the “Queens of the South, a queer brunch celebration”. It’s all a part of a week-long residency by queer-owned Brooklyn cafe, Ursula, culminating in a celebratory Sunday Pride brunch. There, enjoy live music and drag performances curated by The Soapbox Presents, a Harlem-based community organization celebrating the brilliance of Black and Brown people through art Sunday afternoon.
A Pride Drag Brunch will also be taking place at Burger & Lobster with special guest from Rupaul’s Drag Race: Brita Filta. A Pride Parade Pregame will be taking place at Bar Calico at the Freehand Hotel, just around the corner from the entrance to the parade, on Sunday, June 26 starting at 11am.
Entrance is first-come-first served, and those who arrive between 11am and 1pm will have access to an open bar. Nearby at The James, the hotel will have themed music playing and LGBTQ+ makeup artists from PRIV doing complimentary pre-parade glam in the lobby.
The NYC Pride March starts at noon, and is set to be bigger and better than ever after a two year hiatus. It will begin in Manhattan at Fifth Avenue and 25th Street before heading south and then turning west on 8th Street. From there, it will make its way to Christopher Street and pass the Stonewall National Monument and the New York City AIDS Memorial before ending in Chelsea at Seventh Avenue and 16th Street.
Once you’ve had your fill of the parade, the 10th Annual Queer Garden Pride ($30) starts at 2PM in Brooklyn with al fresco dancing, DJ sets, and special guests. A few hours later, Color Me Queer ($20) kicks off at the Delancey in the Lower East Side at 6pm. At the Delancey, three floors of DJs, drag performances and belly dancers will be at your disposal, with ticket sales benefitting queer and trans BIPOC charities.