If the extra rainbow flags flying around town didn’t already tip you off, we’re in the midst of Gay Pride Month in Philadelphia. The city fetes its LGBT community this weekend at the 28th annual LGBT Pride Parade and Festival.
Taking place on June 12, the festivities are expected to draw 25,000 revelers to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection for live music, block parties and more drag queens than you can bat a false eyelash at.
Philly Pride Parade and Festival Fast Facts
- The parade begins Sunday, June 12 at 11:30 a.m. at 13th and Locust streets.
- The procession zig zags through the city, finishing up at a festival at Penn’s Landing around 1 p.m.
- The festival rages until 6 p.m. with 165 vendor booths and live performances.
- Watching the parade is free, but admission to the festival is $15.
The first floats are scheduled to shove off 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. It’s expected to wrap up at 1 p.m.
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.
The day is punctuated by live performances, and 165 vendor booths representing local LGBT-friendly nonprofits, businesses, and food and drink trucks.
Henri David serves as master of ceremonies for the entertainment portion of the day. He’ll welcome musical act BETTY, dance troupe The Prancing Elites, and R&B star Deborah Cox. Drag performances by queens both local and national get sprinkled in between for good, campy measure.
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 6-11 p.m.
More Pride Events
Philly’s Pride festivities begin well before the parade on Sunday morning.
On Friday, June 10, head to 12th and Locust streets for the free Pride Kick-Off Party. The bash is basically an open-air gay bar, with food, drinks and live performances taking place from 6-11 p.m.
Saturday, June 11 sees two events with decidedly different tones.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., William Way Community Center hosts a homecoming soirée at its facility at 1315 Spruce Street. The gathering marks the center’s 40th anniversary with brunch, performances and a silent auction. Tickets range from $35 to $500.
Rowdier crowds gather at Kahn Park at 11th and Pine streets at 3 p.m. for the 18th annual Philly Dyke March. More of a protest rally than a parade, the march heads up Broad Street, loops around City Hall and finishes up back at Kahn Park. There, a lineup of impassioned speakers and performance artists will entertain guests through approximately 6 p.m.
Getting There and More
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.