A guide to DC pride—Festivals, concerts, and parades

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A guide to DC pride—Festivals, concerts, and parades

Curtesy of Creative Commons

Curtesy of Creative Commons

Curtesy of Creative Commons

Hannah Frank

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Capital Pride, two months dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ community in the DC area, began its fun last month and will continue through the end of June.

Throughout May, there have been events such as Gay Day at the Zoo, Silver Pride—an event for people over 60—and Black Pride. These events led up to the ultimate week full of parties, rallies, parades, festivals, and concerts. The Pride Countdown! Kick-Off Party was on May 31, which consisted of music, dancing, art, and a beautiful display of rainbow lights covering the Smithsonian Art Museum.

June 6 is when Pride week really kicks-off with the Capital Pride Rooftop Rally. The event is a relaxing evening full of Capital Pride Alliance volunteers, partners, donors, advocates, and supporters. Cocktails and appetizers are served as people mingle in and around the rooftop pool of the VIDA Penthouse.

On June 7, Capital Pride is hosting Riot! The Pride Opening Party, which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the famous riot following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn. This riot sparked the revolution of LGBTQ activism. The party hosts performances of artists such as SHÉ, JaxKnife, Sippi, as well as Honey, Dvonne, and Ed Bailey, three talented DJs.

Pride at the Pier, taking place on June 8 at the Wharf, is free and open to the public. At this event, pride is expressed through dance parties, concerts, and fireworks. Also taking place on June 8 is the Capital Pride Parade, during which the LGBTQ community and its supporters gather in Dupont Circle. Over 200 organizations express themselves through floats, banners, and entertainment. The parade also contains a Block Party in which attendees can enjoy food, beverages, and DJs throughout the day.

The next day, June 9, Capital Pride hosts their festival, followed by a concert and Sunset Dance Party. The festival is a day full of entertainment, music, food, education, and celebration. It consists of three stages of national and local talent, 300 exhibitors, and a multitude of organizations promoting products and services. The Capital Pride Concert and Sunset Dance Party, hosted by HOT 99.5, is the largest annual event in DC, with attendance reaching over 400,000. This year’s artists include Marshmello, Zara Larsson, Todrick Hall, Shea Diamond, Calum Scott, and Big Dipper. The Sunset Dance Party on the Capitol Stage is designed so the audience is able to “dance into the night” as it watches the sunset, a perfect way to end Pride week.