June is the LGBTQ+ Pride month and there are few more festive places to celebrate it than the US. From Stonewall in New York to the Rainbow Parade in Los Angeles, the LGBTQ+ Pride Day is packed with parties and protests for the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people around the world. Showcasing this month’s festivities, the Visit The USA brings together nine US cities with the most events to celebrate the LGBTQ+ Pride this year.
1)LA Pride – Los Angeles, California – June 10-12th
LA Pride is a three-day event taking place in West Hollywood, the heart of Southern California’s LGBTQ+ culture. The festival features musical performances, parties, exhibitions and a rainbow parade. While in Los Angeles, you’ll find LGBTQ+ museums such as the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives and ONE Archives Gallery and Museum, which house a monumental collection of LGBTQ+ history. In the evening, stroll along Santa Monica Boulevard, a rainbow-lined stretch of bars and clubs, including The Abbey — a long-standing gay bar since 1971, popular for its martinis, dancing and celebrities.
2) Tri-State Black Pride – Memphis, Tennessee – June 16-19th
Tri-State Black Pride showcases Memphis and Midsouth’s LGBTQ+ community and their allies during a four-day celebration. The festivities include educational sessions, workshops and authors chats, followed by a weekend of non-stop parties with a drag queen brunch, comedy shows and a music festival at Midtown’s Overton Park Shell. While in Memphis, also check out the Atomic Rose nightclub and the friendly Dru’s Bar in Midtown. In the heart of the Crosstown neighborhood, the Pumping Station is a local performance hub and another favorite of the LGBTQ+ community.
3) Chicago Pride Fest – Chicago, Illinois – June 18-19th
Chicago throws a big party every June, and everyone is invited. The central event of the two-days festival along Halsted Street is a 6.4 quilometers parade, with marching bands and performers atop floats. While on Halsted Street, keep an eye out for the Legacy Walk, where 35 seven-meter-tall rainbow towers honor the legacies of important figures in the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to the parade, street fairs, concerts, drag queens shows, plays and parties enliven the city, especially Chicago’s two LGBTQ+ neighborhoods: Boystown in East Lakeview and Girlstown in Andersonville. Two must-see choices include independent LGBTQ+ bookstore Women & Children First and drag queen hangout Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club.
4) Twin Cities Pride – Minneapolis, Minnesota – June – 24-25th
In addition to being a popular event that draws crowds of nearly 400,000 people, Minnesota also boasts 10,000 sparkling lakes with natural beauty. The LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations last an entire week, with a family picnic at Parque Como — a waterfront park in St. Paul — followed by a parade the next weekend around the Minneapolis’ Loring Park. There are plenty of lively venues to experience the LGBTQ+ scene in a week, especially 19 Bar — a low-key bar that has catered to the local gay community for over 60 years — and The Saloon for a more lively atmosphere as a nightclub option.
5) Charleston Pride– Charleston, South Carolina – June 25th
Charleston has all the charm of the South, such as colorful architecture and oak-shaded plazas, as well as peaceful beaches, making it a great choice for a day of LGBTQ+ Pride festivities. Head to Folly Beach for days of surf and sun, or hike the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, a nearly untouched wilderness home to nearly 300 species of birds. Take a tour of the city, savor southern home cooking and take time to browse the shops and bars along King Street. This thoroughfare is the heart of the city and the parade route for the LGBTQ+ Pride festival.
6) Denver PrideFest – Denver, Colorado – June 25 – 26th
Denver Pride is the biggest LGBTQ+ event in the Rocky Mountain region, which features a two-day weekend festival that kicks off with a 5K run. Civic Center Park comes to life with over 250 exhibitors, 30 food vendors and live performances throughout the weekend. The LGBTQ+ Pride Parade begins at 9:30 am with colorful floats, marches and music, where more than 100,000 residents and travelers cheer 14 blocks of Colfax Avenue, from Cheesman Park to the Civic Center. This year’s star-studded line-up includes Australian pop singer Betty Who, Silky Nutmeg Ganache from RuPaul’s Drag Race and the rapper Yvie Oddly.
7) Seattle Gay Pride – Seattle, Washington – June 25-26th
Seattle Pride is one of the oldest of its kind in the country, taking place every summer since 1974. The Capitol Hill neighborhood is the city’s LGBTQ+ epicenter, with rainbow-painted crosswalks and more. In addition to Capitol Hill, there are establishments LGBTQ+ almost everywhere in the city, including Seattle Eagle — a leather-and-twist bar known for its bold themed parties –, The Wildrose Bar — the Seattle’s oldest female-owned and operated bar — and the Relaxed local gaybar of C.C. Attle serves pub food with a regular open mic night.
8) NYC Pride – New York City, New York – June 26th
On June 26th, the LGBTQ+ Pride spreads throughout New York City, which truly never sleeps on this occasion. The annual parade runs through the historic neighborhood of Greenwich Village, where the Stonewall Riots first took place in 1969 and started the global gay rights movement. After the parade, bars and clubs host parties in Manhattan, many of which do not require tickets or advance planning. If you do not want to go out at dawn, take a walk through the streets of the Village and venture out to some places LGBTQ+: Piano bars like Marie’s Crisis and the Duplex, drag queen clubs and clubs like The Monster and Pieces, vintage taverns like Julius and lesbian bars Henrietta Hudson and Cubby Hole.
9)Austin Pride – Austin, Texas – August 11-13th
Austin dedicates an entire week to LGBTQ+ Pride a little later in the year, with parades, festivals and concerts. If you’re in town during this period, be sure to head to the Continental Club, Austin’s trademark live music hub, or The White Horse if you prefer to dance. Austin’s nighttime parade starts downtown at the State Capitol and runs from Congress Avenue to the Warehouse District. off the parede route There is so much more for experiment: the South Congress neighborhood is filled with local restaurants, quirky shops and live music venues such as the vintage and costume emporium Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds and Oilcan Harry’s, Austin’s oldest LGBTQ+ bar.