13 Pride Festivals to Celebrate All Year Long
June is the month of Pride celebrations, which we obviously love. But let’s be real: A community as vibrant and as important as the LGBTQ community deserves to be celebrated throughout the year, not just during one month, right? From Halloween parties to sporting events and film festivals, there are lots of fun, wacky and inspirational pride celebrations throughout the year to keep the Pride going 24/7/365. And if you can’t make it to any of these 13 parties, you could always throw your own rainbow-hued celebration and rock it in your own hometown.
1. Gay Ski Week: Why not start off the New Year right with a dose of Pride? Head to Aspen in January and enjoy the snow, skiing and, of course, the epic downhill costume contest. If long underwear isn’t your choice of fashion, there are lots of other things to keep you busy off the slopes, like the vibrant art scene, world-renowned shopping, spas, restaurants and live music. (via Gay Ski Week)
2. Atlanta Black Pride: Atlanta Black Pride is an annual festival for the African American LGBT community held every year at the end of August and beginning of September. It is one of the three largest black gay Pride festivals in the U.S. Get ready to party hard, as Atlanta is famous for its large black LGBT community and vibrant gay nightlife. (via Atlanta Pride Weekend)
3. Winter Party: When the winter gets too cold and horrible, head down to Florida in March for six days of beach Pride, music and entertainment. The whole ethos behind the Winter Party Festival is that regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity or belief, anyone and everyone should have the right to feel comfortable and at home. And what better place to make that happen than on a sunny beach? (via Winter Party Festival)
4. Sin City Shootout: What started out as a LGBT softball tournament has since turned into one of the biggest sporting events of the year. More sports are added to the lineup every year, meaning there is definitely something here for everyone. At this festival, you will compete in 20 different sports together and then enjoy the nightly parties and drinks every evening. Interested? Head to Las Vegas next January for the fun and games. (via Sin City Shootout)
5. Womenfest: For over 20 years, the annual Womenfest in Key West has been known as the best party for lesbians and their friends. You’ll find everything here from clothing-optional pool parties and a dance club scene, to a golf tournament and women-only water excursions like jet skiing and dolphin watching. Held at the beginning of September, this event would definitely be a fun way to wrap up a summer of Pride. (via Womenfest)
6. Outfest: Attracting more than 20,000 attendees, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival OutFest showcases hundreds of films and videos. Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest has been promoting LGBT equality for 23 years by building a community through stories shared on the big screen. Plus their mascot is a pineapple. What’s not to love? (via @outfest)
7. Stargayzer Fest: The Stargayzer Festival is a celebration of LGBTQIA music and performance held every October in Austin, Texas. For three days you can feed your soul in a vibrant festival community focused on showcasing LGBTQIA musicians and performers. You will literally get to hear a hundred performers, from musicians, DJs, artists, comedians and performance artists from around all over the world. When you’re not rocking out, there is a host of food trailers serving delicious local and international cuisines, with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available. (via Stargayzer Fest)
8. SW Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: Closet Cinema is based in Albuquerque and is dedicated to showcasing queer cinema in an attempt to highlight the richness of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. One of the state’s largest film festivals, Closet Cinema is recognized as New Mexico’s leading GLBT nonprofit organization. Held annually in October, SWGLFF lasts over ten days, screens over 100 features, shorts and documentaries and represents over 20 countries. Talk about the best binge-watching experience EVER. (via SWGLFF)
9. South Eastern Queer Arts: In an attempt to dispel the assumption that the LGBT community is radical, offbeat and unserious, the South Eastern Queer Arts project seeks to embrace the finer things in life and generate exposure for LGBT art. Held in September and October throughout Alabama and Florida, all of the venues are free to attend. This creative group wants to connect their artists to venues to display their work and expand exposure in the art world. (via South Eastern Queer Arts)
10. Gay Mardi Gras: The only thing better than celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans is celebrating Pride in the famous French Quarter. Every year has a different costume theme, and you’ll find some of the most fantastic costumes you’ve ever seen at this carnival. Better start working on that sequined masterpiece right now! (via Gay Mardi Gras)
11. Gay and Lesbian Tennis Federation: If you feel like doing something a little more active than parading or partying, check out the events calendar of GLTF. Throughout the year, volunteers organize social events, including a full calendar of tennis events in the greater Bay Area. Even if you’re a beginner, the goal behind GLTF is just to have fun. And with women of all levels playing, you’re sure to find the perfect match for your skill level. (via GLTF)
12. Capital Pride: Forget this monthly business; Capital Pride hosts Pride events all year long, from sporting events to cruises and crab feasts. Held in D.C., Capital Pride does a great job of producing a wide range of educational and entertainment events to celebrate the LGBT community throughout the year. If you live near or are visiting the area, make sure you check their events calendar regularly. (via @capitalpridedc)
13. Halloween Street Party: Start planning your Halloween costume now, because you’re not going to want to miss this. West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Blvd. closes for the evening and is transformed into a large masquerade ball. Whether you choose to wear a costume or just come to watch, everyone is welcome to join in the fun. Enjoy the stroll along the one-mile strip surrounded by food vendors on the streets and a plethora of gay bars. (via Gay West Hollywood)
How do you show Pride all through the year? What other celebrations have you been to that we need to know about? Talk to us in the comments below!