June’s Pride Month marches toward grand finales

NYC and Seattle among cities hosting weekend parades, concerts

Even though we’re nearing the end of June, Pride Month still has lots of momentum. No less than five major U.S. cities have massive weekend events planned to celebrate the LGBTQIA community. Yes, those initials have grown in number — it’s “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), intersex, and asexual (or allied).” How’s that for inclusivity?

Stonewall turns 50

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion. That’s when New York City’s gay community confronted police officers during an early-morning raid on the Stonewall Inn, a popular Greenwich Village bar, on June 28, 1969. We have come a long way.

Here’s a look at some of the coast-to-coast events happening this Saturday and Sunday.

NYC Pride March
5thAve. & 26thSt.
Sunday, Noon

The march, which first took place just one year after Stonewall, has now become an annual civil rights demonstration. This event also acknowledges the fight against AIDS, while honoring those whom we’ve lost. Last year’s march featured over 550 non-profits, community organizations, corporate sponsors, small businesses, political candidates, activists and more. NYC Pride will also host WorldPride this season — bringing the international event to the U.S. for the first time. 

Pride in the Park (Chicago)
Grant Park
Saturday, 1pm – 10pm

This is the city’s first ever Pride in the Park one-day music festival. Acts include Taylor Dayne, Steve Aoki and Iggy Azalea. Tickets start at $50.

Gleeful Chicago crowds celebrate during annual Pride Parade (André Lage Freitas)

Chicago Pride Parade
Broadway & Montrose
Sunday, Noon

The Chicago movement has steadily expanded to the point where Pride Month now has close to 100 different social, cultural, athletic and political events. Sunday’s parade features 150 registered entries, including floats, decorated vehicles, performance groups, a marching band and walkers. Among those represented: community organizations, businesses, governmental officials and individual community members. The city expects a crowd in the hundreds of thousands. This year’s theme: “Millions of Moments of Pride.”

Volunteer Park Pride Festival (Seattle)
Saturday, Noon-7pm

It’s Seattle Pride’s celebration of “queer arts, music, performance and culture.” The event features a beer garden, live music, food trucks and a local crafts fair.

Seattle Pride Parade
4th & Union
Sunday, 11am

“We’re mindful that no matter how far we have come, the march continues to realize a future in which authenticity is embraced, diversity is honored, mutual respect is practiced and equal rights are achieved,” says Seattle Pride Board President Kevin Toovey.

Seattle’s event commemorates the city’s first gay liberation week in 1974 as well as the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. The parade generally attracts around 60,000 marchers.

San Francisco Pride Parade
Market St. @ Embarcadero
Sunday, 10:30am

The city expects more than 100,000 spectators to watch this parade march along Market St. between the Embarcadero and Civic Center. It’s one of the oldest and largest LGBTQIA parades in the world. Musical acts and entertainers will perform on various outdoor stages along the way. San Francisco’s parade includes over 200 groups and exhibitors. It’s the largest gathering of the LGBT community and allies in the nation. There’s also a daylong celebration on Saturday in Civic Center Plaza.

San Francisco Pride Parade
Free expression prevails at San Francisco Pride Parade (Pax Ahimsa Gethen)

St. Louis PrideFest
Soldiers Memorial Plaza
Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday, 11am to 6pm (Parade starts at noon along Market St.)

The Pride St. Louis Grand Parade has traditionally given legislators and candidates a chance to show their support for the city’s LGBTQIA community. This year’s theme is “Millions of Moments.” An estimated 300,000 people attended PrideFest each of the past two years. Taylor Dayne performs on the Main Stage Sunday at 5:30pm.