“We have won when we’re one.”–That is the theme for this year’s week-long celebration for the city’s vibrant LGBT community known simply as NYC Pride, and with nearly 50 years of history, beginning with the Stonewall Riots of 1969, and recent triumphs for LGBT rights at the state and federal level, that victory and desired unity seems much closer than ever. This year, as in years past, promises to highlight the city’s rich heritage as a global leader of the modern gay rights movement in addition to incorporating current cultural symbols and events, to make it a fun time for everyone. Below we’ve listed some of the events in which you can participate. All are open to the public.
Enjoy and Happy Pride from The Local!
A month after the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, five hundred peaceful protesters gathered in Washington Square Park to express solidarity and gay pride. Forty-five years later, the New York City LGBT Pride Rally continues to serve as the official kickoff for Pride Week. Taking place at Pier 26 in TriBeCa, the rally features dozens of well-known speakers and performers (Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance last year) and attracts thousands of attendees. The rally goes from 6 to 9:30pm.
Taking place in famed Jackie Robinson Park, the fifth annual Harlem Pride extravaganza includes artists, food, entertainment, vendors, health care organizations and activities for families, adults and youth of all cultures. The festival’s theme this year, “There’s No Place Like Home,” marks the 40th anniversary of the original musical production of The Wiz, and in that spirit the celebration prides itself on making people of all ages feel right at home, so feel free to bring your entire circle of family and friends. In the evening, the celebration moves to St. Nicholas Park, for a free outdoor screening of The Wiz.
Thousands of women dancing on Pier 26? It’s the ultimate Teaze party. DJ Dimples and DJ Susan Levine spin high-energy sets at the 11th annual Pride Week rave for women. The dance (formerly known as Rapture on the River) runs from 4 to 10pm, creating a day-into-night party. Proceeds from this wildly popular evening benefit Pride Week events and community organizations.
The streets of New York City are never so festive, outrageous and energized as they are during the annual Pride March. Outlandish floats and spontaneous dance parties blend perfectly with the political components of this civil rights march, which begins in Midtown at noon (at Fifth Avenue and 36th Street) and makes its way downtown, to the West Village. This event is free and open to the public (though individuals must affiliate themselves with an officially registered group to march; a list of groups accepting individuals will be posted on the NYC Pride website in June).
The streets spill over with a vibrant mixture of food and craft vendors, musicians, entertainers and local residents at the annual Pride Week street fair, now in its 20th year. The PrideFest smorgasbord runs along Hudson Street, from 14th Street to Abingdon Square, just a few blocks away from the end of the march route, and also just a few blocks from the Hudson River piers, an excellent place to watch the sunset after a day of celebration. This event is free and open to the public and takes place from 11am to 6pm.
Capping off the excitement of Pride Week, Dance on the Pier is an invigorating montage of bodies, lights and music. World-class talents like DJ Grind and DJ Pagano will be manning the turntables and keeping the crowds grooving into the night. The dance reaches its climax with the annual LGBT fireworks display. Proceeds will benefit NYC’s LGBT Pride Week events and community organizations.