Things to Do

16 Cool Pride Events Around DC

Celebrate with virtual workshops, drag performances and, of course, the annual parade.

The Wig Party: A Capital Drag Festival

Thursday, June 3 through Saturday, June 5 at various times

Celebrate the history of DC’s drag community at the Kennedy Center. The three-day festival is curated by Pussy Noir, Don Burke and JaxKnife Complex. It’ll feature local DJs, screenings of queer works by regional filmmakers, live music, and drag acts. On Thursday, June 3, films will begin streaming on YouTube at 6 PM. On Friday, June 4, programming runs from 5:30 to 9 PM. It’ll include the Arts Market on the River Terrace, a performance from DJ Lemz, and a 7:30 PM main stage show. Saturday, June 5 programming runs from 10 AM through 9 PM, with yoga and Dance Sanctuaries, the Arts Market (open at 11 AM) and a 4:30 PM panel discussion. DJ Divonne starts up at 5:30 PM before DJ Wess takes over at 9 PM, and there is a main stage performance at 7 PM. Location: The Kennedy Center (2700 F St., NW) | Tickets: Free | Find out more.

History of Black LGBTQ+ Activism in the DMV and DC Black Pride

Friday, June 4 at 12 PM

Kenya Hutton and Earl Fowlkes, Jr. from the Center for Black Equity are hosting a virtual workshop discussing the history of DC Black Pride, which began in 1991 as an alternative to the largely white mainstream LGBTQ+  movement. Location: Online | Tickets: Free | Find out more.

“DC’s Royals: A Celebration of Drag”

Friday, June 4 through Sunday, June 27 at various times

A new photography exhibit “DC’s Royals: A Celebration of Drag” opens at Dupont Underground this weekend. Walk through historic images from the Washington Blade’s stellar archive—including footage from interviews with Drag Queen Shi-Queeta-Lee and Drag King Pretty RikE—and stick around for drag shows that will happen throughout the month. The lineup will include Bombalicious Eklaver, Pretty Boi Drag, Farrah Synclair, and more (see the full schedule here). Location: Dupont Underground (19 Dupont Circle, NW) | Tickets: $8-$20 | Find out more.

GMCW Turns 40

Streaming online Saturday, June 5 through Sunday, June 27

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. is hitting its 40th birthday this weekend; to celebrate, they’re hosting a major virtual concert, “GMCW Turns 40.” In the filmed performance, see parts of the choral group singing at various spots around DC, including Black Lives Matter Plaza, the Supreme Court, and in front of the 17th Street Amanda Gorman mural. Audiences will hear showtune classics from musicals like The Greatest Showman and Ragtime as well as mashups, like “Truly Brave,” which crosses Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” and Sara Bareilles’s “Brave.” The show will also feature archival footage from the chorus group’s decades of singing across Washington. Location: Online | Tickets: $25 | Buy tickets.

Drag Queen Story Time

Saturday, June 5 at 10 AM

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has organized a kid-friendly Pride Family Zone of events, crafts, videos, and other activities to celebrate queer experiences. On Saturday morning, sit down with DC drag queen Ruth Allen Ginsburg for a virtual storytime event, where she’ll read children’s books and nursery rhymes. Location: Online | Tickets: Free | Register.

Lecture: Mapping the Gay Guides: Understanding Queer Spaces in Pre- & Post-Stonewall America

Thursday, June 10 from 7 to 9 PM

In this virtual lecture, American history professor Dr. Eric Gonzba will discuss his digital public history project, an interactive web application that tries to understand the often-ignored queer geographies. The online mapping project draws from the Damron Guides, a travel guide that has been aimed at gay men since the 1960s. Travel through time into different dimensions of American gay life, visiting bars and nightlife, bookstores, cinema and churches. Location: Online | Tickets: $6 | Find out more.

The Capital Pride Honors

Friday, June 11 at 7 PM

A staple of the Capital Pride Alliance’s annual events, the Capital Pride Honors will be held in-person at the new Compass Coffee Factory in Ivy City. After the ceremony, stick around for a cocktail reception and premiere of SHAED’s music video for “Colorful.” Location: Compass Coffee Factory  (1401 Okie St., NE) | Tickets: here | Find out more.

ALX Pride at the Torpedo Factory Art Center

Friday, June 11 at 7 PM

Head to Alexandria’s waterfront to see new art and jump into fun activities both indoors and out at Old Town’s Torpedo Factory. A major highlight: On Union Street, explore “UHAULED,” a massive installation from Virginia-based artist Cat Baker. Five U-Haul trucks will be turned into galleries, with artwork from queer and lesbian artists in the region. Location: Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St., Alexandria) with an option to attend virtually | Tickets: Free | Find out more.

PAWrade and Canine Costume Contest

Saturday, June 12 from 11 AM to 4 PM

Bark Social, a dog-friendly beer garden and coffee house at Pike & Rose, is hosting a rainbow-filled festival for pups and their human friends. Dress in your colorful best, sip a Pride-inspired cocktail, and celebrate alongside Montgomery County councilmember Evan Glass. Proceeds from the event will be donated to MoCo ReConnect in recognition of its local partnerships committed to creating inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ youth. Location: Bark Social (935 Prose St., North Bethesda) | Tickets: Free | Find out more.

Capitol Hill Pride Celebration

Saturday, June 12 at 2 PM

Join the second annual mini Pride celebration on Capitol Hill, which was inspired by a young boy. Activities include dressing up with temporary tattoos and hair chalk; bubbles; and a competition to name the Pride flag. Show up early to decorate signs. The celebration is family- and pet-friendly. Location: 330 Seventh St., NE, near Northeast Neighborhood Library | Tickets: Free

The Colorful Pridemobile Parade

Saturday, June 12 from 3 to 6 PM

The popular Pride Parade is returning this year. It’ll be led by the official Pridemobile Trolley, followed by a colorful array of decorated vehicles registered to organizations and businesses. The exact route won’t be announced until the week of the event, but it will pass through Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and the Capitol Building. Location: Various | Tickets: Free | Find out more.

Artist talk at Georgetown GLOW

Saturday, June 12 at 7 PM

In her art installation “The Weight of A Rainbow,” part of the current Georgetown GLOW display, Stephanie Mercedes animates multi-colored lights to shine along with an accompanying song, from an a capella group comprised of eight LGBTQ+ folks. Mercedes will speak about her work and answer questions as part of the GLOW program’s Meet the Artist series. Location: Georgetown Park Plaza alleyway (3276 M St., NW) | Tickets: Free | Find out more.

Celebrate Pride at 3 Stars Brewing

Sunday, June 13 from noon to 8 PM

DJ Rosie Hicks will be spinning music at 3 Stars Brewing Company’s Pride celebration. There will be live performances by Ken Vegas, Belladonna, drag kings and fusion belly dancers. There is a $10 cover, but no one will be turned away if they’re unable to pay. Location: 3 Stars Brewing Company (6400 Chillum Pl., NW) | Tickets: $10 cover | Find out more.

Virtual Drag Bingo

Friday, June 18 at 7 PM

Drag queen KC B. Yoncé is leading a virtual bingo night with an arty twist. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is offering printable bingo cards featuring artwork by queer artists. Location: Online | Tickets: Free | Register.

Drag Brunch at Dirty Habit DC

Saturday, June 26 at 11 AM

Tammy will perform at Dirty Habit’s drag brunch, which features a special brunch menu and everlasting mimosas. There is a $55 per person minimum. All month long, Dirty Habit is hosting Colors of the Rainbow, a weekly series featuring color-themed food and beverage offerings. A percentage of each Colors of the Rainbow sale will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign and PFLAG. Location: Dirty Habit DC (700 F St., NW) | Tickets: $55 per person minimum | Find out more.

Growing Pride at The Garden

Sunday, June 27 from 2-7 PM

Shop crafts and goods from 15 local LGBTQ+ makers at the Garden in Alexandria. Food trucks, live music, and kids’ crafts will be available for the duration of the outdoor event. Admission is free, but there is a recommended $5 donation to Safe Space NOVA, an organization dedicated to providing supporting environments for LGBTQ+ youths. Location: The Garden at Building Momentum (5380 Eisenhower Ave., Suite C, Alexandria) | Tickets: Free | Find out more.

Rosa is a senior editor at Bitch Magazine. She’s written for Washingtonian and Smithsonian magazine.