Get ready to wave that rainbow flag!
June marks LGBTQ Pride Month, and each year, Philadelphia celebrates with an enormous Pride parade and festival.
Coming into its 29th year, the fabulous PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival draws more than 25,000 revelers to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection for live music, block parties and a decked-out crew of drag queens ready to strut in stilettos.
PRIDEDAY LGBT PARADE AND FESTIVAL FAST FACTS
- The LGBT Pride Parade is Sunday, June 18 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., starting at 13th and Locust streets.
- The procession follows Locust to 7th Street and then wanders through Old City.
- Penn’s Landing marks the finish, where the festival continues noon-6 p.m.
- Watching the parade is free, but admission to the festival is $15.
Find floats, drag queen divas, music and more during the parade portion of the Sunday, June 18 celebration.
The first floats are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. at 13th and Locust streets in the heart of the Gayborhood. The lively promenade continues down Locust Street, turning when it gets to 7th Street at Washington Square Park. From there, it veers again at Market and buzzes through Old City until reaching the finish line at Penn’s Landing where the festival is held.
The parade is expected to wrap up at 1 p.m. but festival doors officially open at noon.
After the parade, crowds gather at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing for a bash along the waterfront, taking place from noon to 6 p.m.
A full lineup of live performances will fill the fest with entertainment, and more than 200 vendors representing local LGBTQ-supporting nonprofits, businesses and food and drink trucks will set up shop throughout the grounds.
Henri David serves as master of ceremonies for the entertainment portion of the day. He’ll welcome music duos Nancy and Beth and Jason Maek and Zaena, choreographer and performer Kemar Jewel, comedian Sandra Valls and more. Drag appearances by local queens get sprinkled in, too, including one by 81-year-old Molasses Jones, recently crowned Miss Philly at Bob & Barbara’s.
Tip: Tickets to the festival are $15 each, but you can snag them for $10 at Friday’s Pride Kick-Off Party at 12th and Locust streets from 6 to 10 p.m.
More Pride Events
Philly’s Pride festivities begin well before the parade on Sunday morning.
On Friday, June 16, head to 12th and Locust streets for the free Pride Kick-Off Party. The bash, which is basically an open-air bar, features food, drinks and live performances taking place from 6-10 p.m.
Then, on Saturday, June 17, the William Way Community Center hosts a homecoming soirée at its facility at 1315 Spruce Street from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The brunch-time gathering features live entertainment, a buffet, Bloody Marys, mimosas and a silent auction. Tickets range from $35 to $60.
Getting There and Staying Over
Organizers suggest taking public transportation to the festival at Penn’s Landing. The nearest stop, 2nd and Market streets on the Market-Frankford Line, is three blocks away.
Be sure to pack light. All backpacks will be searched, and items like alcohol will be confiscated.
Those who want to turn the festival into a getaway (or a staycation!) should book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package featuring more free perks, including free hotel parking, free Indego bike share passes, free PHLASH passes and more.