It's June... and we all know what that means. It's time to gear up for celebrating (and, ideally, learning about) our collective history. New York City is home to the incomparable and illustrious NYC Pride -- a collection of events hosted by Heritage of Pride.
It starts off on Sunday, June 19th, with the Pride Luminaries Brunch. A collaborative effort between NYC Pride and the New York chapter of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce; for the first time, this event will be open to the public. Pride Luminaries Brunch celebrates business leaders that have made an impact on LGBT equality in the workplace throughout the year. Come ready to mingle and network with industry insiders, media mavens, and proud politicians for what will be the brunch affair of the season. The event is held outdoors at The Garden at David Burke Kitchen, surrounded by lush greenery overlooking lower Manhattan. Buy your tickets now to enjoy the brunch buffet, passed hors d'oeuvres, and open bar (from 12-4). Hit up ParkWhiz if you're planning on driving.
After work on Monday, June 20th, head to SVA Theatre with your ticket and, if needed, your parking reservation, to OutCinema for an exclusive, pre-release screening of Strike A Pose--a documentary that follows the seven male dancers featured on the tour and in Truth or Dare, who found the courage to shine while staying true to who they are. Join select dancers featured in the film for a talkback and a post-screening party featuring Reyka vodka.
Grab some quality family time before heading into the whirlwind weekend, at Family Movie Night. On Tuesday, June 21st, lounge under the stars on Pier 63 with the Disney-Pixar classic Toy Story. While this is one of the only free events for children and LGBT families during Pride, tickets are available for premium seating (including some comfy-looking sectional couches great for snuggling). The space will open its doors at 7:30 p.m. and the movie will screen at dusk. If you need a space to park the minivan, click here.
After Family Movie Night, it's best to concentrate on getting some rest to prepare for the weekend's events. Things really start to get in gear on Friday (June 24th) with The Rally.
The Rally at Pier 26 will be hosted by Toderick Hall and feature performances by Karmin and Bob the Drag Queen (from RuPaul fame). The Rally is free and open to the public, but Heritage of Pride is offering great VIP packages. The first NYC Pride Rally occurred one month after the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, when 500 people gathered for a "Gay Power" demonstration in Washington Square Park, followed by a candlelight vigil in Sheridan Square. NYC Pride has continued this proud tradition by hosting the event in various locations throughout the city. Limited parking is available.
After The Rally, head right on over to Fantasy. Join DJ Grind and DJ Scott Martin at The Diamond Horseshoe (from 10pm to 5am) for special performances and secret acts--shhhh! After living out your burlesque fantasy last year, this year join us for a NEON fantasy unlike any you've ever experienced. Dress up in your brightest neon colors and kick off NYC Pride weekend properly. Grab your tickets here--and let your designated driver book a spot nearby.
Once you wake up on Saturday (afternoon?), you'll have some choices to make. You can join the VIP Rooftop Party at the Hudson Terrace (from 2p-10p) or you can elect to check out the ladies at Teaze (from 3p-10p; formerly Rapture) on Pier 26.
The VIP Rooftop Party boasts DJ Paulo, DJ Eddie Martinex, and DJ Peter Napoli across the Rooftop, Salon, and Terrace. With a number of ticket and parking options, it's best to book early. Dance with the hottest boys on the most exclusive rooftop venue overlooking the greatest city in the world during the best weekend of the year!
Teaze (formerly Rapture on the River) is NYC Pride's exclusive Saturday event for women. After over a decade of "rocking women's worlds," they've refreshed the event and are introducing tons of exciting new ways for ladies of all walks to come together and celebrate Pride!
Regardless of which one you went to, the night isn't complete without enjoying WE Party: Graffiti at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Make sure you grab your tickets now (and if your DD needs it, parking can be found here). Starting at 10pm and going until 6am, you might need to up the caffeine intake to get through Sunday's festivities.
Sunday kicks off with PrideFest (starts at 11am and closes up around 6pm). This annual queer street fair that combines vendors, entertainers, and activities for a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality. PrideFest attracts thousands of out-of-state visitors and brings them together with local residents and families, corporate sponsors, community leaders, and local business owners. This event is free and open to the public--that said, Pride NYC is offering a VIP package--and you'll need parking if you're going to load up on new gear!
The pinnacle of Pride, The March kicks off at noon on Sunday. The first March was held in 1970 and has since become an annual civil rights demonstration. Over the years, its purpose has broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those we have lost to illness, violence and neglect.
The March is a celebration of our lives and our community. In 2015, The March had over 350 unique marching contingents, representing a vast array of nonprofits, community organizations, corporate partners, small businesses, political candidates and activists! Certainly this year won't disappoint. As always, watching The March is free and open to the public. You may not need a ticket, but if you're planning on driving into the city, a reservation is definitely a good idea.
Following The March, the party goes on. Head over to the Dance on the Pier or, depending on your preferences, Femme Fatale.
Dance on the Pier will be celebrating 30 amazing years in 2016! It will again serve as the largest fundraiser for NYC Pride and our LGBT nonprofit grant winners. This year NYC Pride are continuing to bring the biggest and best talent from around the world. The event closes with the world's longest-running LGBT fireworks display over the Hudson River.
The gals take over Hudson Terrace with Femme Fatale--entertained by DJs Citizen Jane, Mary Mac, and Tatiana. Femme Fatale is the newest official Sunday event for women during NYC Pride week. Things are going to get crazy at this exclusive rooftop party as you dance atop the greatest city in the world. Help usher in a new era for women at the largest Pride weekend in the nation! Grab your tickets and parking today.