From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.
Regularly voted DC’s Best Parade by Washington City Paper, the Pride Parade is a spectacle you shouldn’t miss. As for the Pride Festival, this is the 17th year that the festival is being held on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets NW, complete with entertainers, beverage gardens, food vendors, a dance tent and much more.
The Pride Parade is tomorrow, Saturday, June 8. It kicks off at 4:30 pm at 22nd and P Streets NW, just west of Dupont Circle. The route will stretch for about a mile and a half, weaving it’s way through the Dupont Circle area before ending at 14th and R Streets NW in the Logan Circle area. This is the first time that the parade will travel north on 14th Street, a testament to how popular this corridor has become.
Organizers expect more than 100,000 spectators to be on hand for the parade this year, so if you’re planning to stake out a good spot to watch, you should do so early. And you’ll want to have a good viewing location as there are more than 170 contingents in the parade from local businesses, Capital Pride Heroes, politicians, drag queens and more. The contingents are made up of floats, vehicles, entertainers and whatever else people can think of.
Lynda Carter, best known for her role as “Wonder Woman,” will be serving as Super Grand Marshal of the parade this year. For a list of all the award categories this year, check out Capital Pride Parade Awards page, and for a list of the winners from last year, check out Borderstan’s write-up on the parade.
After all the excitement of the Pride Parade on Saturday, keep the weekend fun going by heading over to the Pride Festival on Sunday, June 9, on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets NW. Exhibit hours are from 12 to 7 pm and the main stage activities will continue until sunset. With the Capitol Building as the backdrop, expect to join more than 150,000 spectators taking in the entertainers and politicians; enjoying the food and drink at the two beverage gardens, at Taste @ Pride, or at any of the many food vendors on hand.
There will be three stages at the festival with a range of local and national entertainers. At the Capitol Stage, located at the east end of the festival, the featured headliners include: Emeli Sandé, Icona Pop and Cher Lloyd. The Dupont Stage, located more toward the center of the festival, will have various styles of entertainers (featured headliner: Eric Himan and the Soultre Singers) and promises to be a bit more relaxing. The Monument Dance Tent is a new addition to the festival this year and will primarily feature DJs and will be equipped with a shaded dance floor.
This entire weekend is going to make for quite the Pride party – we hope to see you out there!