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Extravagant Pride Events Across the U.S.

From east to west and in between, Pride celebrations are back in person and lively as ever.

We know many of you are working on Pride events throughout the U.S. this month, but if you aren’t and are looking for an event in your area—or simply need some inspiration from these over-the-top celebrations—here's a look at three cities celebrating in style. 

New York City 

As the birthplace of Pride, NYC is the dream spot for experiencing the theatrical events of the month. Tribeca Film is partnering with pride to host a screening of the Netflix documentary Disclosure, which fosters a discussion among lead trans thinkers and creatives. The event will be held at Spring Studios and will feature two short films as well. If you’re planning a Pride event in your area, centering trans voices in film is a great option. 

What better way to celebrate Pride than through food? Since the NYC Pride brunch is taking place on Juneteenth, the event will feature a collection of Juneteenth food stories from Black LGBTQIA+ chefs. The conversation will be held at 74Wythe, an event space with a rooftop, greenhouse, and loft, and will feature local chefs and two performances. ASL integrated programming will be provided—something to make note of when considering how inclusive your Pride events will be. 

Another way to gather thinkers: the annual symposium of queer changemakers, a ticketed hybrid event held at the New York Law School. This conference will feature speakers, networking opportunities, workshops, a keynote session, and a cocktail reception at the end of the evening. 

No matter if you’re planning an event or just looking to celebrate, street fairs are a wonderful way to gather inspiration. For food, vendors, and festivities, Pride-goers can attend not one but two street fairs: Hester Street Fair at The Seaport’s Pier 17 and PrideFest Street Fair in Greenwich Village.  

If you’re looking to give back to the community, consider a ticketed benefit event. The Love Above All Ball at Rockefeller Center benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. A lineup of entertainment, including several DJs and a RuPaul Drag Race winner, along with a local chef and local mixologist, will amuse attendees throughout the evening. 

Music is integral to almost any event. Make sure to have LGBTQ+ musicians or artists who are known for being advocates/allies—like how Lil’ Kim is headlining the Pride Island Music Fest on Governor’s Island. Even a tribute night, like Broadway Sings, a concert series at Sony Hall honoring pop icon and LGBTQ+ ally Taylor Swift, is a fun way to show support. 

Maybe you’re planning an event near a body of water? Take notes from the Knickerbocker Sailing Association, who will hold their annual sailing trip, Rainbows on the Hudson, with special rainbow sails for a colorful display of pride. 

Consider partnering with local clubs and event spaces to engage the nightlife crowd. NYC parties range from a serene garden party overlooking the Hudson River to hyped up dance parties in local clubs. 

For dates, registration, and more information, visit the official NYC Pride site.


San Francisco 

San Fran’s pride celebration is the largest in the country, and in true San Francisco style, embraces love, self-expression, and human rights. This year is the city’s 52nd annual celebration, themed “Love Will Keep Us Together.”  

June 1 saw the 26th annual lighting of the Pink Triangle installation on Twin Peaks, where 2,700 pink lights announced the beginning of Pride Month. The ceremony was preceded by a Pink Torch Procession. The Pink Triangle was designed and implemented by Illuminate CEO Ben Davis and Pink Triangle founder Patrick Carney, and hosted several politicians, including House Speaker Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Illuminate is an art group that creates illuminated artwork to help “free humanity’s better nature.” 

In another display ceremony, the largest ever AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display at Golden Gate Park, with an Opening Ceremony taking place Saturday morning and Closing Ceremony on Sunday. The National AIDS Memorial will host this event for the 35th year in a row. There are AIDS Memorials in many states, so look to see if there are any events in your area. 

Film viewings aren’t just for big-name pictures. San Francisco’s Pride screenings are led by many local film groups: the 18th annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival will also be taking place at the Presidio Theater June 10–12, and from June 16–26 the S.F. LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will host several films, an opening gala, and more special events under this year’s theme “The Coast is Queer.” Partnering with local theater and film groups is a wonderful way to show support. 

Pride is a celebration that ranges across demographics, so creativity is key to planning events. San Fran events are available for every interest: cyclists can unite for 2022 Trek Pride Ride across the city; that same day, a breathwork and sound healing session honoring Pride can be found in the Mission District. Bar crawls, drag shows, and countless nightly parties provide entertainment for all. 

The main celebration and march details will be released by a soon-to-be-launched app. Post-pandemic events have proved that technology is key, so download the app or look for apps to partner with for your Pride event. 


Twin Cities 

Major cities bring major energy to Pride events—like, very over-the-top festivities all month. But you don’t need to be on the coast to create or attend an energetic celebration. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are the leaders of Pride, Midwest-style. Twin Cities Pride recognizes this month with what the Midwest does best: live music, food courts, local BIPOC and LGBTQ+ vendors, and a beer garden. Does your city, town, or region have a festival feature that’s practically mandatory (hello, beer garden)? Reflect your area’s culture in your events and honor local style of Pride. 

The Come As You Are! Pride Art Exhibition and Opening Reception that took place June 3 at the Bloomington Center for the Arts is an example of how you can incorporate the arts demographic into an event. The exhibit is a curation of artworks by emerging and established Minnesota artists from the LGBTQ+ community.  

Many pride events are intended for adults, but have you considered getting kids involved? Pride Family Fun Day at Como Park East Pavilion lets children join in the fun. You’re never too young to celebrate Pride! 

Minnesota sports fans can celebrate Pride in a special way: MN Twins Pride Night at Target Field and MN United Pride Night at Allianz Field allow fans to attend games in pride style (and will be gifted a Pride Night tank top to display their spirit). If you’re planning a Pride event, think about the ways you can involve local sports culture for some extra fun. 

Twin Cities Pride is partnering with Atomic Data and Implex Data Ride. For more information about events, click here


Planning a Pride masterpiece? We’d love to see! Submit photos and a description of your event to [email protected] for a chance to be featured in a follow-up article. 

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