13 Fun Ways To Celebrate Pride Month In Philadelphia

How to keep your rainbow flag waving all month long in Philly...

In June, cities around the world observe LGBTQ Pride month with weekend-long hooplas that feature lively parades, street festivals and star-studded concerts.

But in Philadelphia — one of the first cities to host a Pride parade — you can do all that and more with a diverse lineup of events throughout the month.

Philly’s festivities are anchored by the 30th annual PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival on June 10, which features a 1.5-mile procession of colorful floats, marching bands and drag performances, and a massive outdoor party at Penn’s Landing.

If you’re looking for more ways to mark the occasion, you’ll find all kinds of Pride month events happening throughout June, such as art exhibits, protests, film screenings and even a street-food festival in the heart of the Gayborhood.

Find details on all that and more in our guide to the best Pride month events in Philadelphia below.

Pride in the Plaza and LGBTQ+ Flag Raising Ceremony

Pride month in Philadelphia officially kicks off with an evening flag-raising ceremony at City Hall. There, Mayor Jim Kenney joins members of City Council, speakers, poets and musical artists to watch the raising of a rainbow flag a pole next to the flag of Philadelphia, where it will fly all month long. After that, stick around to grab dinner from food trucks and dance to the sounds of live DJs.

Pride in the Plaza and LGBTQ+ Flag Raising Ceremony

When:Thursday, June 7, 5-8 p.m.
Where:Philadelphia City Hall, 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Cost:Free

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Philly Pride Kick-Off Party

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Pride weekend begins with a festive block party in the Gayborhood, where several streets close to vehicular traffic to welcome food trucks, performance stages, and outdoor dance floors and drinking areas hosted by bars around the ’hood. Pro tip: Look out for vending areas to purchase $10 wristbands to the PrideDay Festival at Penn’s Landing on Sunday, June 10. Regular-priced admission is $15.

Philly Pride Kick-Off Party

When:Friday, June 8, 6-10 p.m.
Where:12th & Locust streets
Cost:Free

www.phillygaypride.org

What Does Pride Mean to You?

Several galleries throughout the city take part in this special exhibition comprising works from local LGBTQ artists who were tasked with creating a work of art that exemplifies what being proud means to them. Expect a variety of mediums — from photography and painting to poetry and mixed media — to be on display throughout the month.

What Does Pride Mean to You?

When:Opens Friday, June 8
Where:Various locations including Philadelphia City Hall, 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Cost:Free

www.phila.gov

Photo Pop Philly Pride Party

Get your selfie face on point. Pop Up Philly, the highly Instagrammable pop-up exhibition of local street art in Center City, is hosting its own Pride bash with a special appearance by one of Philly’s hardest working (and tallest!) drag queens, Brittany Lynn. Those who stop by will snag a $2 coupon to lesbian bar Toasted Walnut just across the street and $1 from all ticket purchases benefit LGBTQ-centric nonprofit Leeway Foundation.

Photo Pop Philly Pride Party

When:June 8, 6-8 p.m.
Where:1315 Walnut Street
Cost:$22.50-$25, adults; free, children 5 and younger

www.photopopphilly.com

Philly Lights Up for Pride

Sometimes celebrating Pride month can be as easy as looking up. That’s the case each evening from June 8 to 10, when the city skyline — along with a bunch of other iconic local landmarks — illuminate with all the colors of the rainbow. Look out for the colorful light display to show up on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Boathouse Row, the PECO Building and more.

Philly Lights Up for Pride

When:June 8-10, 8:30-11:30 p.m.
Where:Various locations including Boathouse Row, 1 Boathouse Row
Cost:Free

www.phila.gov

Philly Dyke March

Philadelphia Dyke MarchPhoto courtesy Philadelphia Dyke March

In the mood for a good old-fashioned rally? Head to Kahn Park on the eve of the PrideDay Parade and Festival for the 20th annual Philly Dyke March. There, dozens of female-identifying folks and their allies gather before marching toward City Hall with signs and a chorus of chants demanding equality for queer women in this city. The procession finishes back at the park with an electrifying live music and performance art.

Philly Dyke March

When:Free
Where:Louis I. Kahn Park, 328 S. 11th Street
Cost:Free

www.phillydykemarch.com

Big Gay Boat Party

What’s more fabulous in Philly than waving a rainbow flag from the mast of a ship on the Delaware River? Guests will have ample opportunity to do just that at this party hosted by PhillyGayCalendar and Toasted Walnut on the Moshulu. The bash promises pumping jams from DJ KRK, go-go dancers and food and drink specials from the on-deck bar. As an added bonus, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which can be seen from the boat, will be lit with rainbow colors during the party as part of Philly Lights Up for Pride (more on that above).

Big Gay Boat Party

When:June 9, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where:Moshulu, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost:$10-$25

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PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival

Pride Parade and FestivalPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The entire city celebrates its LGBTQ community at the 30th annual PrideDay Parade, which begins in the Gayborhood and travels all the way to Penn’s Landing. The 1.5-mile spectacle offers something for everyone: floats packed with drag queens and hunky go-go dancers, marching bands playing uplifting queer anthems, and confetti, rainbow flags and feather boas out the wazoo. The procession ends at Penn’s Landing for a day-long festival featuring live performances from a host of LGBTQ artists and the day’s headliner, comedian Margaret Cho.

PrideDay LGBT Parade and Festival

When:June 10, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Pride Festival at Penn's Landing, June 10, noon-6 p.m.
Where:Parade starting point, 13th & Locust streets; Festival, Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, 101 S. Boulevard
Cost:Free, parade; $15, festival

www.phillygaypride.org

Into the Woods We Go

Historically LGBTQ people have navigated away from rural areas to live their best, queer lives in the comfort of more-accepting metropolises. This special exhibition at Da Vinci Art Alliance, however, posits that the countryside — namely its forests and woodlands — have played a crucial role in the formation of LGBTQ identity. Swing by to browse works by local LGBTQ artists that explore this concept and celebrate the “beauty, magic, wildness and mystery” of the woods.

Into the Woods We Go

When:June 20-July 1
Where:Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine Street
Cost:Free

www.davinciartalliance.org

Night Market: Gayborhood

A person buying food from a food truck at Night Market PhiladelphiaPhoto courtesy The Food Trust

The popular roving late-night grub fest parks near the rainbow crosswalk in the Gayborhood, where you’ll find a caravan of food trucks cranking out some of the city’s best street eats. Look out for a range of foods — from savory dishes to sweet treats — drinking areas and live musical and drag performances happening right on the street.

Night Market: Gayborhood

When:June 21, 7-11 p.m.
Cost:Pay as you go

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Philadelphia Family Pride and Arts Festival

Philadelphia’s LGBTQ families get their very own Pride celebration in Mount Airy. Organized by the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, Philadelphia Family Pride and Mount Airy Art Garage, this first-ever outdoor soiree welcomes parents and tots for a day of family-friendly activities, live music, arts and crafts booths, and plenty of nibbles.

Philadelphia Family Pride and Arts Festival

When:June 23, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:Lovett Park, 6945 Germantown Avenue
Cost:Free

www.mtairyartgarage.org

The Free Library Celebrates Pride

Photo courtesy Free Library of Philadelphia

Free Library branches throughout the city mark Pride month with a slate of bookworm-approved to-dos. Look out for screenings of LGBTQ-centric films like Beach Rats, Philadelphia and The Watermelon Woman; discussions with transgender authors Heath Fogg Davis and Sarah McBride; arts and crafts projects; and storytime with drag queens, who will read aloud from kiddie lit that highlights the importance of tolerance and diversity.

The Free Library Celebrates Pride

When:Through June 30
Where:Various locations including the Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street
Cost:Free

www.freelibrary.org

Philadelphia Film Society Celebrates Pride

You could Netflix-and-chill some pretty amazing LGBTQ movies during Pride month, but what’s the fun in watching flicks at home alone? The Philadelphia Film Society gets you out of the house with four screenings that commemorate standout films in LGBTQ-cinema history, including a 1980s documentary that spotlights one of the earliest gay-rights pioneers, The Times of Harvey Milk, and David France’s poignant How to Fight a Plague, another documentary that chronicles the fight for better access to crucial medication during the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Philadelphia Film Society Celebrates Pride

When:Various times
Where:Various locations including the Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street
Cost:$8-$13

www.filmadelphia.org

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