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7 US Pride festivals off the beaten track that will blow you away

7 US Pride festivals off the beaten track that will blow you away

The rainbow flag waving at Oakland Pride

Pride Month is finally here and a few unexpected destinations are ready to celebrate it with their own US pride festivals. Take a detour to these less beaten paths and find out more about the Pride Month events throughout the United States.

A runner getting to the finish line in style at Anchorage PrideFest
Anchorage PrideFest | Photo: Courtesy of Russ Reno

Anchorage PrideFest Week

9-16 June 2018

If you’re up for a road trip to one of the northernmost cities in the US, do not forget your pride outfit. Anchorage PrideFest Week, celebrated on 9-16 June, will warm up the atmosphere with seven days of drag contests, brunches, and runs. Movie lovers can enjoy classic LGBTI flicks during the annual Pride FilmFest. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Philadelphia, celebrated with a special screening: better get those tissues ready.

Marchers stopping for a quick pint at a pub during Juneau Pride
Marchers strike a pose during Juneau Pride

Juneau Pride

8-17 June 2018

Alaska capital city Juneau is also celebrating Pride month with fun-loving activities and the fourth edition of GLITZ on 16-17 June. The two final nights will be hosted by Gigi Monroe and drag king Spikey van Dykey, plus a special appearance by RuPaul’s Jasmine Masters.

Marchers waving the rainbow flag at Iowa City Pride Festival
Marchers waving the rainbow flag at Iowa City Pride Festival

3 Iowa City Pride Festival

15-17 June 2018

Iowa, which was the third state to recognize same-sex marriages back in 2009, will host its 48th Pride Festival this year. Iowa City will be bustling with events, culminating in the weekend of 15-17 June. The highlight, however, will be the big parade on Saturday, 16 June. Performers will include Candi Stratton as Cher, American Idol Alisabeth Von Presley and four top stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The Big Four Bridge in Louisville lit in rainbow colors
The Big Four Bridge lit in rainbow for Pride | Photo: Courtesy of Louisville Convention Visitors Bureau

Kentuckiana Pride

15-16 June 2018

During the weekend of 15-16 June, Louisville will celebrate equality at the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau for the 18th edition of the Kentuckiana Pride. Moreover, the organization behind the event will launch their new logo. The design will incorporate the rainbow flag in the usual fleur-de-lis, that is the lily representing the city.

Marchers on a sunny day at St. Louis PrideFest
Marchers at St. Louis PrideFest | Photo: Courtesy of Explore St. Louis

St. Louis PrideFest and Grand Pride Parade

23-24 June 2018

St. Louis’s Soldiers Memorial Park will have its 7th PrideFest on 23-24 June. The Missourian celebration will include performances by Grammy-winning artist Mya, 90s duo La Bouche, Steve Grand and Bonnie McKee.

Organizers posing for a photo at Kenosha Pride
The team of organizers of Kenosha Pride | Photo: Courtesy of Sam Cooper

Kenosha Pride

15 July 2018

Located halfway through the bigger prides of Chicago and Milwaukee, Kenosha will host one of the smallest LGBTI festivals in the country on 15 July. Last year’s pride attracted 500 people, but that shouldn’t fool you. The sixth edition will have a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere which won’t make you regret other colossal celebrations. Your furry friends will love it, too, thanks to the dedicated pet area.

Two marchers during the annual Oakland Pride Parade
Oakland Pride Parade | Photo: Courtesy of Visit Oakland

Oakland Pride

9 September 2018

If you feel one month is not enough to celebrate the LGBTI community, fear not: more events will follow later this year. Oakland, California, in fact, will host its ninth pride on 9 September. It will include a parade and a Family Fun Zone, a safe space for children to enjoy the festival together with parents and caregivers.