June is the month of acceptance and the month to welcome diversity in communities regardless of sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian groups celebrate this special time with pride parades, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost from HIV and AIDS and other group gathering events that attract thousands upon thousands of individuals.
Pride events have been going on for decades now and some of them have grown to epic sizes. Let’s take a look at the ten biggest Pride festivals and parades in the United States.
Washington D.C. Pride Parade
The Washington D.C. Pride Parade and all other festivities are organized by a group known as Capital Pride Alliance and sponsored by Marriott International. The Capital Pride Alliance, based in Washington, DC, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTQ community and its partners through educational events, entertainment, community outreach, and celebrations of diversity throughout the year. Each June, Capital Pride produces the annual Celebration of Pride in the Nation’s Capital, one of the largest Pride celebrations in the country, which includes the Pride Parade, Festival, and Concert.
44th Annual Seattle Pride Parade
This year marks the 44th Annual Seattle Pride Parade. It took place on Sunday, June 24th, 2018 and marches down 4th Avenue in beautiful downtown Seattle. The theme for this year’s parade is “Indivisible.” According to Seattle Pride’s website, the group believes this single word “conveys the core principle of our country. We are stronger together. It’s “We the People.” Inclusion and intersectionality make us stronger.”
NYC Pride March
The first Pride March in New York City was held in 1970. Since then, the event has become an annual demonstration of civil rights. Each year, the demonstration has grown to include other issues affecting the LGBTQ communities. A large portion of the demonstration is to help build awareness for the fight against HIV and AIDS. New York City Pride, the organization which puts the New York City Pride March together, makes a point to note that this demonstration is just as much of a celebration as it is an awareness campaign.
The Boston Pride Parade is put together by a group called Boston Pride. Boston Pride sets out to “produce events and activities to achieve inclusivity, equality, respect and awareness in Greater Boston and beyond. Fostering diversity, unity, visibility, and dignity, we educate, communicate, and advocate by building and strengthening community connections.” The parade boasts the largest turn out for
a Pride celebration in the entire state of Massachusetts. The march followed a route that leads from Copley Square all the way to the City Hall Plaza.
Columbus Pride March
Columbus Pride puts together a massive festival each year in Bicentennial and Genoa Park located in the heart of Columbus, OH. The first Pride march in Columbus was held in 1981. There were only 200 people in attendance. In 2016, there were over 600,000 people who attended the annual event. The festival takes place over an entire weekend and features a Saturday morning parade which begins at 10:30 a.m.
With so many Pride events focused on building awareness towards HIV and AIDS prevention, this month is a good time to consider taking an HIV test. In fact, the last week of June marks HIV Testing Day. There are many options for affordable and convenient HIV testing in your area.