Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1, 2014

It’s Pride Season, Poppets! Are you ready for your annual run-down of Pride events from me? I hope so, because here it is…

June 6-15, Boston – for those of you who like to travel, my hometown throws one of the largest (and one of the best, if I say so myself, but I admit I may be a teeny bit biased) Pride festivals in the country. It lasts the whole week, starting with the flag raising in City Hall at noon on the 6th and running through the block parties on the 15th. The parade starts at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 14th. This year’s Grand Marshals are the governor, Deval Patrick, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

June 14, Spokane – bringing it a little closer to home, just over the mountains in Spokane is the Inland Northwest LGBTQA parade. This year’s theme is Out, Loud, and Proud! The parade is Saturday, June 14th, but there are loosely organized, but still official, events throughout the month, if you find yourself in the area at other times.

June 14-15, Portland – for our neighbors to the south, Portland’s Pride (Pride NW) officially kicks off with the Trans*March on the 14th and wraps with the parade and festival on the 15th. Grand Marshals are Conner Mertens & Chandler Whitney, and Daniel Franzese. Plus, Bruce Vilanch is acting as Master of Ceremonies! An added bonus, if you go to the website, you can get 10% of air travel to Portland Pride when flying Alaska Airlines. The ban against same-sex marriages was just lifted last month; head down to Oregon to help them celebrate if you can.

June 19-22, Olympia – in the capital comes Capital City Pride. The weekend starts with a party – as well it should – Thursday night at the Power Up & Dance Party, then goes on for 3 more days, culminating with the parade starting at noon, and the festival starting at 1:00 pm. The sponsor hotel, the Governor Hotel, is offering special rates for the weekend, so be sure to ask about availability.

June 28-29, Seattle – just down the road a bit, and easily accessible both in location and schedule, is the main Pride weekend in Seattle. The weekend starts with Family Day on the 28th and continues through to Sunday night with the parade and other events in Seattle Center. But as with Spokane, there are official Pride events throughout the month, so whenever you’re in town, be sure to check and see what’s going on.

June 29-July 6, Victoria, BC – grab your passport and hop the ferry across the water and celebrate Canadian-style. Starting on the 29th with the Big Gay Dog Walk and wrapping up on the 6th with the parade and festival, our neighbors to the north are celebrating for a whole week, in a big way. Given David and I have family on the island, I can vouch for how beautiful and welcoming these Islanders are.

July 11-16, Tacoma – start with the flag raising at 4:30 on the 11th, and prepare to stay busy for almost the whole week. With a blend of history, film, and parties, Tacoma’s Pride has a little something for everyone. Choose your event, or go for the whole 6 days, you won’t be disappointed.

July 12-13, Bellingham – BELLINGHAM! It’s our weekend! Start with the Pride Family Picnic that Saturday, because whoever you are, if you’re reading this, you are part of the Bellingham Pride Family. Then party your way through the weekend with events for all ages and 21+ - wrapping up with the parade at noon on the 13th, and Pride Festival until 4:00 pm. Pssst… don’t forget the after party at Rumors!

August 3, Vancouver BC – in case you fell in love with Canada back in July, or couldn’t make it in the first place, Vancouver’s Pride Parade is one of the largest celebrations in the area. Last year, there were more parade attendees and participants than there are residents of the city! If your time is limited, consider spending the day in Vancouver.

August 27-Sept 1, New Orleans – bigger than NOLA Pride (which takes place June 20-22: is Southern Decadence, the celebration of all things LGBTQ. Taking over much of the French Quarter and almost all of Bourbon Street, this weekend is exactly what it claims to be: a decadent, delicious weekend. Worth the trip, worth the crowds, come early and/or stay late, because even once Southern Decadence is over, you’ve still got all of New Orleans at your command. And if you get here, be sure to drop a line. David and I would love to meet up for a cocktail or two!

There you have it, Poppets – your local, and not so local, Pride events for 2014. Have fun. Have Pride. And take care of you – and each other.

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