There's nowhere like New York City for the annual LGBT Pride events just as summer gets going. With the official Pride Day coming up (it's always the last Sunday in June), here are a few ways to celebrate Pride (or just show support...or just dance and have fun) this weekend, courtesy of NYCGo.
NYC Pride Rally
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 tends to attract celebrity speakers and performers (Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance last year) and attracts thousands of attendees. The rally begins at 6 p.m.
Harlem Pride Day
In 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, which will be screened during the evening in St. Nicholas Park.
DJ Dimples and DJ Susan Levine are slated to spin 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 event benefit Pride Week events and community organizations.
The VIP Rooftop Party
DJs Dave Audé, Escape and Nacho Chapado will spin throughout the afternoon and evening keep the energy going throughout this eight-hour celebration on the rooftop of Hudson Terrace. Proceeds from the party, which sells out every year, benefit Pride Week events and community organizations.
This is it. Head out early to stake out a spot along the parade route: The march begins in Midtown at noon (at Fifth Avenue and 36th Street) and makes its way downtown to the West Village. Watch the floats go by and cheer on the multi-colored costumes (they must be seen to be believed.)
Food and craft vendors, musicians, entertainers and local residents will participate in the annual Pride Week street fair along Hudson Street, from 14th Street to Abingdon Square. The party takes place just a few blocks away from the end of the march route, and close to the Hudson River piers—an excellent place to watch the sunset after a day of celebration. The fair runs from 11am to 6pm.
Dance on the Pier
Capping off the excitement of Pride Week, Dance on the Pier will have DJ Grind and DJ Pagano manning the turntables until the annual LGBT fireworks display kicks off. Proceeds will benefit NYC's LGBT Pride Week events and community organizations.
Staten Island PrideFest
Not in Manhattan? Not here in June? No problem. Staten Island is extending Pride Month into July. A daylong party will be held at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. The morning gets off to a fast start with a 5K run/walk through the grounds of the Snug Harbor campus. The day continues with live music, drag performers, food trucks, craft vendors and plenty of activities.
Of course, one can always attend a Broadway show (be sure to collect one of the limited-edition pride-themed Playbills) or visit one of the city's ubiquitous piano bars for a more relaxing alternative to the outdoor festivities.