June is Pride month! So, get out there and celebrate the joy and excitement of the LGBTQIA+ community. From California wine country to the streets of New York, there’s a U.S. Pride celebration ready for you to join. Our round-up of the best pride parades in the U.S. will help you choose where to get loud and proud.
If you are lucky enough to make it to one of these fabulous Pride parades, spread the pride with some videos and pictures. As media and entertainment companies continue to place an emphasis on diversifying the faces their audiences see, a new study finds some groups still feel left out. Two-thirds of LGBTQ+ Americans believe their representation in media is greatly lacking. The new survey of 2,000 LGBTQ+ Americans finds that despite 62 percent believing the country is making progress with representation, there’s still a long way to go. Even when there is representation, only a third of respondents (31%) said it was a “positive” portrayal when they first saw someone like themselves in the media. For many, the negative aspects are enough to turn them away as consumers. In fact, 39 percent have stopped engaging with specific media because they believe it plays into harmful stereotypes about the LGBTQ+ community.
Pride parades are perfect for both singles and couples. While you should be happy and proud of yourself either way, a new study finds that older same-sex couples who are married are happier and healthier than single members of the LGBT community. Being married in the later years of life has been associated with positive outcomes for straight couples, now this latest study is among the first of its kind to confirm similar benefits for same-sex couples. Researchers at the University of Washington surveyed over 1,800 American individuals in 2014, aged 50 or older, all of whom identified as being LGBT. About half of those surveyed were single, while there was an even split between participants in a committed relationship and participants who were married among the remaining group.
So, get ready to get your celebration on because StudyFinds did the work for you to find the best Pride parades in the U.S. Of course, all of the parades are a great celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. If there is one you love to attend every year that isn’t on our list, please share it with us in the comments below.
The List: Best Pride Parades, According To Expert Reviews
1. NYC Pride March
Coming in at number one, NYC Pride March is one of the biggest and most well-established Pride parades worldwide. “The 2022 NYC Pride March theme was ‘Unapologetically Us’ to recognize the ‘struggle and the resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community.’ As somber as that is, the March itself will be vibrant and thrilling, packed with mind-blowing floats, colorful costumes, fun party music, wild entertainment, and a whole lot more,” informs The Music Trust.
New York City has long been a destination for queer folks looking to escape their often less-welcoming hometowns. “The first Pride ‘parade’ started on June 28, 1969, when Marsha P. Johnson threw the brick that launched the Stonewall Riots. This spontaneous uprising is what we commemorate each and every June. It’s the reason for the season if you will,” informs Groupon.
While NYC Pride is the largest, if you want something more low-key (but no less fun), check out the Dyke March the day before, celebrating lesbians and allies who march in solidarity against hate and bigotry. “The NYC Pride March winds its way through the streets of Manhattan, culminating in a massive party in the historical LGBTQ+ hub, Greenwich Village. Enjoy the view from the Hyatt Grand Hotel property,” suggests Booking.com.
2. San Francisco Pride
A list of the best Pride parades would only be complete by mentioning San Francisco. Pride in San Francisco is a city-wide event with a plethora of things to do. “While most people turn out for the big Pride Parade mid-month, those in the know will tell you that it’s the Dyke March you don’t want to miss. Entering its 30th year in 2022, this non-commercial, protest-oriented parade began as a way to raise lesbian visibility. Today, it’s a joyous celebration of all things queer,” explains Groupon.
The San Francisco Pride used to be referred to as International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day, Gay Freedom Day, and Christopher Street West. It is known to be one of the best pride festivals and parades in the US. “The route typically travels from 10:30 am to roughly 4:00 pm along Market Street in San Francisco, from Steuart Street to 8th Street. Prior to the parade starting, participants queue up off the path. The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration Committee, a non-profit, oversees the festival,” informs Top List.
San Francisco Prides’ objective, according to their website, is to inform the world, commemorate our legacy, enjoy our culture, and liberate our people. “Nearly rivaling NYC Pride in size, San Francisco Pride has risen through the ranks of pride events in the United States to become a favorite among the LGBTQ community. San Francisco has especially been a favorite over the years for those members of the LGBTQ community who enjoy live music,” informs Matador Network.
3. The Chicago Pride Parade
The Chicago Pride Parade has featured some amazing queer performers, including “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season 2 winner Alaska Thunderf*ck, the boundary-pushing, rapping, and songwriting sensation CupcakKe, and YouTuber turned superstar Mila Jam. The Manual informs us of additional Pride activities, “The following weekend, Pride in the Park will feature an amazing parade and an entertainment roster that’s even more jam-packed with A-List stars. Even better, this is a prime opportunity to explore Chicago’s rich queer history and see for yourself how queer culture extends far beyond the usual coastal hubs.”
The Chicago Pride Parade, also known as the Chicago Gay Pride Parade or PRIDE Chicago, is an annual pride parade held in Chicago on the final Sunday in June. “Celebrating inclusivity and diversity, Chicago’s Pride celebration offers an exciting lineup of events. The city’s North Side comes alive with a massive parade, while Boystown, the recognized gay area, hosts a two-day festival that welcomes everyone to join the festivities,” says Booking.com.
Chicago’s Pride Fest is yet another LGBTQ music festival that offers performances by industry superstars like Leann Rimes and Pabllo Vittar. “Even if you’re a seasoned pride festival attendee, Chicago Pride possesses the ability to completely sweep you off your feet. In fact, 2019 was the first year that the city holds its Pride in the Park, with headliners like Iggy Azalea and Steve Aoki rumored to be greeting thousands of cheering LGBTQ fans on June 29,” informs Matador Network.
4. LA Pride
Los Angeles has a long history in the LGBTQ+ community. It held one of the first Pride demonstrations at the Black Cat nightclub in Silver Lake in 1967. “An annual LGBTQ Pride festival is held in Los Angeles, California, and is known as the LA Pride Festival & Parade or just LA Pride. The Christopher Street West Association organizes one of the largest LGBTQ Pride celebrations in the world, which is usually held on the second weekend in June,” says Top List.
With vibrant floats, joyful marchers, live performers, vintage automobiles, and much more, Time Out fills us in on past performances and events, “There’s a slew of other events like an after-hours theme park experience at Universal’s Super Nintendo World on June 8 and the June 11 Pride Parade. Baseball lovers can join the 10th annual LGBTQ+ Night at Dodger Stadium on June 16. Plus, check out events in nearby Santa Monica.”
The LA Pride Parade begins at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine and heads west for almost two miles. “This exuberant celebration is perfect for families looking to celebrate, while those looking for more adult-themed fun should check out WeHo Pride in West Hollywood,” boasts Groupon.
5. Denver PrideFest
Believe it or not, Colorado was worst known for a 1992 ballot initiative to ban municipal governments from enacting their own LGBTQ+ civil rights laws. In 2022 things looked very different with an openly gay governor (Jared Polis) and some of the nation’s strongest LGBTQ+ civil rights laws. The Manual talks about Denver PrideFest, “On June 25 and 26, you can celebrate all this progress and more at Denver PrideFest, which will feature two days of exciting entertainment on the main stage, a Saturday Pride 5k marathon, a Saturday Dyke March, a Sunday parade Downtown, two parties at Meow Wolf, and the perfect excuse to explore Denver’s epic restaurant and craft brewery scene.”
The first Denver PrideFest took place in 1976, the same year the Facility on Colfax, a nearby community center, was established. It is Colfax who puts on the parades. “Each year, the Center coordinates and puts on the festival and procession. The current format of the celebration includes a Pride 5K, a two-day festival in Civic Center Park, and a procession along Colfax Avenue,” writes Top List.
More than half a million people are drawn to Denver to celebrate Pride. Most likely also for the live performances, costumes, and talent. “Officially known as the ‘Coors Light Denver Pride Parade,’ the Mile High City’s Pride Parades are always full of sparkling floats, enthusiastic marchers, moving music, and a lot more,” adds The Music Trust.
You might also be interested in:
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- The Manual
- Top List
- The Music Trust
- Matador Network
- Visit the USA
- Time Out
- US World and News
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.