Five of the Best Gay Pride Festivals This Year.
So you have been going to Pride every year in your home town and it is great. One year, you want to make it special. Why not take a trip to a major city and attend a major Pride Festival? Better yet, why not get a whole group together and march in a Pride Parade? Here are a few of the best Pride Events in the country that should be towards the top of your list.
One of the biggest Pride parades in the country, they had over 25,000 people march in the parade and estimates put the attendance at over 400,000 last year. Boston Pride will be celebrating its 45 anniversary this year and from June 5-9, 2015 the celebration will be their biggest yet. In addition to the parade, they will host a Black Pride cruise, AIDS walk, a diplomatic reception, two block parties, a youth dance and of course the festival on June 13. Fenway Park will also host Pride Night at 7 p.m. on June 12.
New York CIty
The Stonewall riots of 1969 were truly the beginning of gay community acceptance not just in New York, but across the country. The following year, the first Pride Parade took place and there has been no looking back with New York leading the way ever since. This year June 23-28, 2015 is Pride in New York with a family night, a rally, VIP rooftop party, an all-night party, a dance on the pier, the festival and of course the parade. The parade had 325 marching groups last year and they boast over 1,000,000 spectators, claiming to be the largest Pride Parade in the world. Highly sponsored and extremely visible, this is not an event to miss.
Also celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, San Francisco Pride will be held June 27-18, 2015. This year they expect to have over 200 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, and more than twenty community-run stages during the two day event. They also claim to be the largest LGBT gathering in the USA, taking place, “at the foot of San Francisco's historic City Hall where Harvey Milk once stood and addressed Pride-goers more than thirty years ago.” San Francisco Pride takes its event one step further by offering services such as float building classes and twinning where they partner with younger, smaller events in other cities to offer their expertise and experience. Oh, and by the way, public nudity is allowed in festivals in San Francisco.
This year, Chicago’s 46th Pride take place from June 20 - 28, 2015 along Chicago's Halsted strip. The entire month of June is Pride Month in Chicago and events rain down on the city throughout the month with the parade and festival being the culmination of it. Last year they had over 50 events before Pride actually started, so no matter when you come to Chicago in the month of June, expect a party. They hold events for anything from “Gay Idol” singing competitions to “When Dogs Heal,” an event about how animals help owners who are living with the emotional and physical ailments of HIV.
The largest and best (OK, writer’s pick) Pride festival in the Southeast, Atlanta Pride takes place in October each year to coincide with national Coming Out Day. In the typical southern fashion of over indulgence, Atlanta pride consists of three parades. In addition to the Pride Parade there are also the Trans March and Dyke March, too. Held in Piedmont Park each year, right in the heart of Midtown, you are a close walk to more than 100 gay-owned or friendly bars, restaurants, and hotels. The concerts draw huge headliners and the libations flow freely. The weather in Atlanta in October makes for a beautiful week to just come out and have fun.