The month of June is a great time to visit Washington, DC, and what better place to celebrate Pride than in the nation’s capital?
From sporting events to club nights and block parties, DC Pride attracts people from all over the country who come together to celebrate and show their support for the LBGTQ+ community. Here are 10 must-experience Pride events taking place in Washington, DC this year that highlight the diversity and joy that make this one of our favorite destinations in the world.
DC Black Pride takes place from May 26-29, and will be hosted at the Renaissance Washington, located in downtown DC, where a majority of events will be taking place. DCBP weekend highlights include lectures from local and national LGBTQ+ community leaders and organizers, outreach services, and an introductory nightlife event hosted by Xavier Entertainment. dcblackpride.org
June kicks off with the Capital Pride Alliance hosting their annual awards ceremony, the Capital Pride Honors. On June 3, members of the LGBTQ+ community, their families, and allies will gather to honor outstanding leaders, individuals, and activists in DC and surrounding areas. Tickets for this event can be purchased on the Capital Pride website and include food, as well as two drink tickets. capitalpride.org
On June 3 and 4, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington is holding performances at the Lincoln Theatre. With a mission to inspire equality and inclusion, the GMCW is celebrated as one of the best choral groups in the USA, according to the Washington Post. The GMCW will be performing Dolly, which includes selections from Dolly Parton, including “Here You Come Again” and “Jolene.” Tickets can be purchased online for both performances in Lincoln Theater. gmcw.org
Put on your best sports gear on June 6 in time to see the Washington Nationals play against the Atlanta Braves during heir annual Washington Nationals Night OUT. Tickets for this event include a Nationals giveaway item, as well as a donation to Team DC, a local community group working to dispel discrimination against LGBTQ+ people participating in sports. mlb.com/nationals
On June 10, one of Pride’s banner events, the Capital Pride Parade, starts off on State Street and moves through both the Logan and DuPont Circle neighborhoods. The 1.5 mile route includes accessible stations and specific standing spaces for families and children, making sure everyone is comfortable to participate and enjoy the floats and fanfare. capitalpride.org
The following day, June 11, the Capital Pride Festival will be held on Pennsylvania Avenue. This free festival, which is one of the largest annual event in the nation’s capital region, features over 300 service organizations, as well as a concert (with VIP ticketing options available for an elevated experience), food and adult beverage gardens, and several after events, including a sunset dance party at the U.S. Capitol. capitalpride.org/event/festival
For more adult focused entertainment, DC’s Drink the District host events centered around socializing, dancing, and community building by connecting local vendors with community members. Their Gay for Rosé event will be taking place in the National Union Building on June 11, from 2 – 4:30 P.M. You can enjoy an unlimited sampling of over 50+ wines, wine-tasting demonstrations, an artisan market featuring local small businesses, and live entertainment. drinkthedistrict.com
After a day of partying, join the folks at Rails Comedy for their Champagne, Comedy and Drag Show on June 11 for a night of impromptu comedy and sketches by local comedians and drag queens for one night only. Every ticket purchase also includes free champagne, so don’t miss your chance! railscomedy.com
In the days following the Capital Pride Events, a myriad of parties and events can be found taking place throughout DC and the surrounding cities. One of the most popular is the Sunset Dance Party on June 12, a free, outdoor dance event hosted by Grammy nominated DJ, Tracy Young. capitalpride.org/event
Officina is a highly regarded culinary collective with two locations in the DC area. Join them on June 4, 11, and 25 for their Drag Brunch. With reservations starting at $25 (including a complimentary cocktail!), enjoy homemade pasta and endless entertainment in one location. officinadc.com
Washington, DC is also home to many historical sites that play significant roles in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality. While you are here, take the time to explore these fascinating and important places that are part of the LGBTQ+ experience in the USA.
The Supreme Court, located next to the Library of Congress and the U.S. Capitol, hosts visiting hours from Monday to Friday. See the site where the United States legalized gay marriage in 2015. supremecourt.gov/visiting/visiting.aspx
Just west of the Supreme Court is the National Mall, a famous site for demonstrations and protests throughout history. In 1979, the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place and included thousands of members of the LGBTQ+ community. The National Mall is free to all visitors and includes a 2-mile loop train that encircles the National Mall and Tidal Basin. nps.gov/nama
The Wedding is considered to be the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. This event took place in October of 1987 between the National Museum of History and the Internal Revenue Service building, where over 2,000 same-sex couples pledged their vows in a mass wedding ceremony, presided over by minister Dina Bachelor. mallhistory.org
To explore historical materials produced by LGBTQ+ writers, poets, and scholars head over to the Library of Congress. The library holds a myriad of historical artifacts and written works, including panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt, Jonathan Larson’s lyrics sketches for Rent, and manuscripts from one of the first LGBTQ+ activists in Washington, DC, Frank Kameny. loc.gov/visit
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