Every June, millions of people across the United States and the world celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month. Through marches, picnics, parades and festivals we remember the 1969 Stonewall Riots that started it all. One thing rings true: It is a time for community, a time to come together. So in addition to the massive Pride St. Louis downtown, we rise to celebrate through the entire month with multiple celebrations. May your community cup runneth over this PRIDE season.
Saturday, June 9
Noon to 10 p.m.
“Diversity. Equality. Inclusion.”
Metro East PrideFest added a slew of freshness to its festivities this year: a family-friendly Kid Zone, several inflatables and a hotly competitive Corn Hole Tournament. Hilarity ensued with the first annual High Heel Drag Race down Belleville’s Main Street. Festies came dressed to the nines in hopes of being voted “Best Dressed” by the crowd. The main stage was packed with the must-see lineup of local favorites Summer Osbourne, Kristen Goodman, Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship and the classy Gateway Men’s Chorus, to name a few. The evening rounded out with the much-anticipated Metro East Pride Drag Show, hosted by 2017 Queen of Metro East Pride Ravyn Winters. 2018 Royalty: Queen Tassandra Crush and King Zane Mazzaratie Steele graced the stage along with a star studded list of other performers. Metro East Pride continues to shine as a lovefest enjoyed by all.
Saturday, June 16
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“Building Bridges. Building Community.”
Pride St. Charles came back this year, bigger and better than ever. Celebrating the fourth year of the festival, organizers proudly announced a new permanent location: the riverfront backdrop in historic downtown St. Charles’ Frontier Park. Festival-goers enjoyed a host of family-friendly activities, including lawn games, origami, live music, two show-stopping drag shows and the PRIDE season favorite St. Louis Balloon Brigade, as well as an interactive activity hosted by Anime St. Louis. In addition to its new elements, Pride St. Charles brought back live art, the popular tie-dye shirt station, free on-site STD testing, and the Doggy Drag Show and dog adoption area. More than 100 businesses and organizations offered booths and resources, and the expanded food section had something for everyone. Pride St. Charles, born from PFLAG and a mother’s love, again shows all ages how to gather and empower our community.
Tower Grove Park
Saturday, June 23
Noon to 8 p.m.
“Stronger, Bigger and Shadier”
Those who miss the comfort and shade of Tower Grove Park (home of Pride St. Louis from 1998 to 2012) will be able to enjoy it this year, as Tower Grove Pride expands into the park. The festival will encompass the Sons of Rest Pavilion, the main outdoor stage, and the Stupp Center, boasting two stages, 150 booths, activity zones, a pet play area and even a career fair this year. Organizers are also offering a new backstage indoor/outdoor set-up for added enjoyment. Tower Grove Pride is a free, diverse, open, and community-centric festival dedicated to bringing people together for fun and mutual support. The festival offers live music, performances, activities and a unique twist this year with Backstage Pass @ Tower Grove Pride. The Backstage is a way for Tower Grove Pride to both raise money and highlight local artists and entertainers who perform best on a more intimate stage. Complimentary drinks and a snack bar will be available. Tickets for the Backstage Pass are $15.
The Grove (Sarah and Manchester)
“My Black is Beautiful”
Proving that PRIDE is not just to be celebrated in one month, St. Louis Black Pride holds its festivities in August. It’s a year-round “Movement, not a Moment” when it comes to the second oldest Black Pride organization in the country. The mission of the St. Louis Black Gay & Lesbian Pride Committee is to serve as a resource for the community and be a catalyst for unity, empowerment, and of course pride. The exciting weekend in August is sure to be bigger and better than ever. As a year-round movement, St. Louis Black Pride provides a multitude of programs, events and activities, all geared to build equity of life within the community it serves. There are many different focus areas, all geared to engage, educate and empower individuals to live up to their full potential. Keep an eye on its website for updates on the scheduled events in August.