Pride Parties 2023 – So Many Choices

Last Updated 15.05.2023
9 min read

June 28, 1969. Police raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York.  This was nothing new in New York. Such raids had been going on for quite a while, especially in Manhattan. When they occurred, the patrons of gay establishments would simply line up outside and get arrested. Stonewall was different. It was the first raid that met with resistance and riots that went on for several days.

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    Thus began the civil rights movement for the LGBTQ+ community.

    The following June, San Francisco held its first Pride celebration. And for a long time, it and Los Angeles were about the only places for the LGBTQ+ community to go for such a celebration.

    We’ve come a long way since then. Here we are in 2023 with Pride parties all over the country during the month of June. Now you don’t have to travel far to participate, and that’s a great thing for those of us on a tight budget. But, at the same time, June is also a great time for a road trip to a bunch of them.

    So take a look at some of the best Pride parties, pack up, and hit the road.

    Pride in Florida

    GayDays Orlando – May 31 – June 5

    Home to Disney World, the loud and proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, this will be the scene of multiple events throughout the week. This pride and music festival celebration is one of the largest in the world, with many of the activities at Disney resort hotels, especially the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort. Every night, there are after-hours parties with great DJs, but plenty to do all day too – Riptide at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park which goes well into the night, a wig party and therapy pool parties at the Sheraton, and just a huge number of other events. 

    St Pete Pride – all of June

    This year, St Petersburg is going all out with an entire month of celebration, each week with a different theme. Just Google “Pride in St Petersburg,” and you’ll get a rundown of all the events. There will be the traditional parade and concerts, but much more has been planned.

    Other Pride Parties/Events in Florida

    For a complete rundown of Pride events in Florida, check out this site. They are scattered all over the state, and many are family-friendly with kids’ activities.

    Pride in Michigan

    Going way north, Michigan in June is beautiful although still a bit cool. So, pack sweaters and jackets, especially for the nights.

    Community Pride in Saugatuck/Douglas Michigan – June 1-4

    This is just one of many Pride parties/festivals in Michigan during June. Party in the Park with guest entertainers, and enjoy a bunch of other inclusive activities and events. 

    And while you’re in Michigan, check out the other events in the state, including Detroit, Benton Harbor, Lansing, and more. Some are small, some much larger.

    Kalamazoo Pride

    This is one event that bears nothing. This year, it will take place June 2-3 and usually attracts about 8,000 partygoers in southwestern Michigan. There are great drag performances, amazing music, exhibits, dancing, etc. The overall theme of Kalamazoo Pride is “OutFront.”

    Pride in New York

    New York City – June 17 - 25

    The theme for Pride month in New York City is “Strength in Solidarity'' – the direct result of attacks on the LGBTQ+ community in general and the transgender community specifically. The traditional events will be continued as always, despite the hiatus in 2021 and 2022 due to Covid – a rally on the 17th, the Pride march, and Pride Fest on the 25th. To keep current on TBA events, check out the official site.

    Check out other celebrations around the state, like the one in Buffalo on June 4, although some are later in the summer, like Syracuse in August.

    Pride in California

    One of the most significant events during Pride month is that Disneyland will host its first-ever Pride events – Disneyland After Dark on two dates, the 13th and the 15th. But all over California, there are Pride parades, festivals, and parties.

    San Francisco

    Sacramento – June 10-11

    There will be both a Pride Festival and March on these two days. But the celebration really goes on all month. Groups, allied groups, and businesses that support the community and its causes host all sorts of events. It’s really a month-long celebration. About 20,000 participate, and there are plenty of family-friendly events, all happening at the Capitol Mall. One of the biggest draws is the entertainment on both nights. The March, on Sunday, of course, is free.

    Los Angeles – June 9 - 11

    LA Pride boasts thousands of participants every year, since 1970, in what is now known as the city’s gayborhood – West Hollywood. It has hosted as many as 50,000 participants, and features three stages for entertainment, dancing, and some pretty top-name entertainment. Mariah Carey will be there this year. The parade on the 11th will be broadcast live on the local NBC station.

    June 16th is LGBTQ night at Dodgers Stadium.

    Pride in Louisiana – June 7-11

    There’s only one party to talk about here, and that is the one in New Orleans. 

    A weekend and beyond of parties, events, music, live entertainment, coupled with a parade through the French Quarter. Local businesses are fully supportive and offer lots of events and special deals too. This is a celebration that doesn’t sleep. 

    This year, Black Pride NOLA will be celebrated concurrently from the 9th – 11th – sneaker balls, pool and leather parties, and more. 

    This will be an event not to miss if you can get there!

    Pride in Illinois – Pretty much all month in different places

    Quad Cities – June 3-4

    These are four cities on the Illinois/Iowa border. Their PrideFest is a weekend-long celebration of live music, lots of food, drink, and vendors, and drag performances. It's a fun place to be.

    Rockford Pride – June 4

    This is basically a kick-off party to Pride month – lots of food, music, drink, speakers, and drag performances. And there’s a Pride Drag Show After Dark for adults who want to continue the celebration into the night.

    Woodstock Pride – June 11-12

    Woodstock’s two-day celebration begins with a Pride Parade and has themed events all weekend – a Rainbow Run, Pride Promenade, and Pub Crawl, to name a few. All of this takes place at its historic Woodstock Square and also includes food trucks, lots of vendors, and live entertainment.

    Chicago Pride – June 18-25

    If you want big, you’ll find it in Chicago, beginning in the North Halsted neighborhood the weekend of June 18-19 and ending with the annual Pride Parade on the 26th. Throughout the weekend and the next week, there are plenty of events – live entertainment, an arts and crafts festival, drag shows, dancing and DJs, a pet parade, games, and more. For those familiar with well-known entertainers, these include CupcakKe, Alaska Thunderf*ck, The Aces, Netta, and Dorian Electra.

    Pride in Texas

    Everything in Texas is bigger, so they say. And certainly, Pride celebrations are, if you want them loud, proud, and huge.

    Houston Pride – June 24

    Houston Pride has been scaled back this year. There will be the traditional Parade, with several hundred thousand expected, but the festival has been canceled. The organizers have cited several reasons for this – size, security and safety being the largest. Typically, there are hundreds of thousands of attendees, and law enforcement cannot handle it. And last year, the heat became a health issue as well, with multiples of heat-related hospitalizations.

    So go to Houston for the parade, and then travel to Dallas or Austin for other festivities.

    Dallas Pride – June 3-4

    This is the 40th year of Pride celebrations in Dallas, with the traditional festival in Fair Park on Saturday and the Parade on Sunday. There are family, teen, and kid zones, lots of music and dance, and both outdoor and indoor stages. Always – food, drink, vendors, and community booths. It’s a huge affair every year.

    Austin Pride – August 12

    Last year, over 400,000 attended Pride in Austin. Plans are still being finalized for the event, but updates will be available at The Austin Pride Foundation. August 12 is actually the culmination of events that will happen all summer, with a parade beginning at 8 pm.

    Southern Pride – June – October

    Charleston Pride - June 3 – 11

    The annual Pride Parade will take place as usual through historic downtown Charleston, on June 3.

    From June 6 – 11, parties and events will take place in the Park Circle neighborhood, including dancing, workshops, drag brunches and bingo, a queer prom, lectures, yoga, and more.

    Kentuckiana Pride – June 17

    The kickoff is the 1.5-mile parade through the NuLu neighborhood and ending at the Big Four Bridge. The rest of the events will take place at Waterfront Park with lots of well-known headliners, and all the food, drink, and revelry that is common for this week.

    Atlanta Pride – October

    Why October? Well, there is a story here. When first begun, Atlanta Pride events occurred throughout the month of June, to coincide with celebrations throughout the country. In 2008, it was changed to October, the weekend closest to National Coming Out Day. Stay tuned for details of events.

    The List Could Go On and On

    Every state in this country has Pride festivals, parades, and other events, of all sizes. Anyone, whether they can travel far or not, can find someplace to celebrate Pride. If this list doesn’t suit you, just Google for Pride in your or any state, and you will find all that you want and need. Party on!

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