Things to Do

Pride Month Is Back in a Big Way—Here’s How to Celebrate

After years of scaled-down events, DC Pride has returned in full force.

Photograph by Elvert Barnes/Flickr.

After years of cancellations and scaled-down events, Pride month is back and bigger than ever. Starting this weekend and throughout all of June, there are a bunch of ways to celebrate around Washington, including festivals, art workshops, drag shows, and of course, the Capital Pride parade. Here are some events worth checking out.

Celebrate DC Black Pride
May 27-30

Since 1991, DC Black Pride has celebrate the Black queer community and raised awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS. This year’s events are back in-person all weekend, and include many opportunities to party and mingle throughout the city. Other offerings include a complimentary “Wellness Suite” with testing and safer sex kits, a Rainbow Row expo featuring Black LGBTQ+ organizations and vendors, a comedy show at Simple Bar and Grill with a lineup of LGBTQ+ comedians, and a Pride Festival at Fort Dupont Park on May 30. Check out the full schedule here.

Dupont Underground: “The Gender Within” Exhibition, Drag Underground, and Queer Tango
Throughout June

Arts organization Dupont Underground is hosting a variety of events this month in celebration of Pride. From June 4 to 26, Fridays to Sundays, visit the revamped underground space in Dupont Circle for “The Gender Within: The Art of Identity,” an exhibition showcasing artworks dealing with the nuances of gender identities. In partnership with the Embassy of Argentina, perfect your tango skills at Queer Tango on Tuesdays at 7 PM. Drag Underground, a drag show featuring local drag queens such as Citrine and Vagenesis, will take place Fridays at 8:30 PM. Tickets for these events are available here.

Queer History Walking Tours
Various dates and times

Women’s history-focused tourism company A Tour Of Her Own is organizing “Under the Rainbow,” a queer history walking tour on June 17 at 5 PM. The group will lead a tour around DC, visiting locations that helped shape “an accepting environment leading to the 2015 Marriage Equality landmark Supreme Court decision.” Tickets start at $35.

Washington Walks is planning a “Rainbow Pride DC” guided tour on June 25 at 11 AM. From Dupont Circle to 14th Street, the two-hour tour will explore how DC’s own queer figures, like Georgia Douglas Johnson and Deacon Maccubbin, contributed to the gay rights movement. Tickets are $25.

On June 25 at 1 PM, pay your respects during the Pride Month walking tour at the Congressional Cemetery, which is said to be the only known cemetery in the world to have a dedicated LGBTQ+ section. Tickets are $5.

DC Brau, Dacha & Electric Rainbow Present: Pride Pils Dance Party & Launch
June 2, 6 to 11 PM

DC Brau and Electric Rainbow are throwing a dance party at Dacha Garden in celebration of Pride and the brewery’s launch of its newest Pride Pils cans. Proceeds will go to LGBTQ+ orgs SMYAL and The Blade Foundation. Register for the event here.

“Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington” Seminar
June 2, 7 to 8:15 PM

Join author James Kirchick for a virtual seminar hosted by the Smithsonian as he talks about his latest book “Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington,” which delves into how the “midcentury idea of homosexuality” shaped Washington’s politics. Tickets are $20 for Smithsonian members, $25 for non-members.

Annapolis Pride Parade and Festival
June 4, noon to 5 PM

The parade kicks off at noon along West Street in Annapolis. Following the parade, there will be a bunch of festivities, including performances by local acts like funk/R&B family trio Honey Sol, and Maryland-raised rapper IAmYoungAye. Be sure to stop by the Graduate Annapolis Hotel for the Pride Block Party. More information about the festival can be found here.

Pride Family Day
June 4, 11:30 AM to 3 PM

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery is organizing a free family-friendly event outside on the F Street plaza next to SAAM. There will be Pride-themed arts and crafts and music by DC’s Different Drummers and DJ Rosie Hicks. There will also be a kid-friendly drag show featuring performers Ruth Allen Ginsburg, Desiree, Tippa Buckley, and Molasses. Register here.

Queen Prom Night
June 4, 8 PM to 3 AM

A League of Her Own is throwing a Queer Prom Night as a redo for those who never got to experience prom without fear of discrimination. The prom theme is Rainbow, so be sure to don your best fit. The 21+ event is free and vaccination is required.

OUT Spoken: A Night of Queer Expression
June 6, 7:30 PM

Enjoy an open mic night at Busboy and Poets in Brookland. The line-up includes professional spoken-word performers and open mic rookies. Tickets are $10-25.

Pride in the Park: An LGBTQ+ Comedy Show
June 9, 6 to 9 PM

Have a laugh on the lawn of Fairview Urban Park in Silver Spring. Improbable Comedy is organizing an outdoor comedy night showcasing local LGBTQ+ stand-up comics. There will be food from local vendors as well. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged. Register for the free event here.

DC Front Runners Pride Run 5K
June 10, starting 7 PM

DC Front Runners, a ​​LGBTQ+ walking and running club, is organizing their 10th annual Pride Run 5K—their first in-person event since 2019. Proceeds from the race will benefit local LGBTQ+ and youth organizations, including Casa Ruby, Teens Run DC, Blade Foundation, and SMYAL. Registration starts at $55.

June 10, 6 to 10 PM

The Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building is hosting an interactive discussion among queer scientists, entertainers, and scholars about the future of Pride and the LGBTQ+ community. Register for the free event here.

Capital Pride Block Party and Parade
June 11, noon to 10 PM

The Block Party along 17th Street will have several food vendors and two beverage gardens, where people can watch local drag performers.

The annual Capital Pride Parade is back with a new route. The parade will begin at 3 PM on 14th Street, south of T Street, and continue along Rhode Island Avenue, ending on P Street in Dupont Circle.

Pride Beer Crawl
June 11, starting at noon

Enjoy $2 and $3 beer at the 5th annual Pride beer brawl. Participating bars include Sudhouse, Solly’s, Desperados Burgers & Bar, and Elements with more to be announced. There will also be drag shows, live music, photobooths, and prizes throughout the day. More than 3,000 people are expected to partake. Tickets start at $25.

Capital Pride Festival
June 12, starting at noon

The annual Capital Pride Festival will take place along Pennsylvania Avenue with over 300 vendors, entertainment, and advocacy organizations. Rock band DNCE will headline the Pride Concert accompanied by drag performers Willow Pill and Symone. Regional LGBTQ+ music acts, such as pop artist Vincint, are expected to take the stage.

Pride Month virtual talk with author and transgender educator Alex Myers
June 13, 6:30 to 8 PM

Arlington Public Library is hosting a virtual talk with trans author and educator Alex Myers, where he will discuss his works and effort to make communities and schools more gender inclusive. Register for the free event here.

​​In Celebration of Pride: A Conversation with Riva Lehrer and Achy Obejas
June 17, 6:30 to 8 PM

Artist and educator Riva Lehrer and Cuban American writer Achy Obejas will discuss Lehrer’s artwork, “Risk Picture: Achy Obejas,” exploring themes related to queer identity and disability. The free event will be held at the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium at the National Portrait Gallery. Register here.

Unicorn Kids Club: “Trans/Gender-creative Kids”
June 18, 11 AM to noon

Every month, the Anacostia Community Museum hosts “Unicorn Kids Club” which provides a safe space for kids ages 5 to 12 to celebrate who they are. This month, trans, nonconforming/fluid kids are welcome for story-times and activities. Register for the free event here.

Arlington Pride Festival
June 25, noon to 7 PM

Celebrate Pride at Gateway Park in Rosslyn at the first Arlington Pride Festival. The free event will have community and kid-friendly activities as well as music, food vendors, and drag performances. Register here.

MoCo Pride Youth Picnic
June 25, noon to 3 PM

The MoCo Pride Youth, Montgomery County Public Schools’ LGBTQ+ student affinity group, is throwing a picnic for all LGBTQ+ youth and allies at Woodside Urban Park in Silver Spring. Register for the free event here.

Growing Pride at The Garden
June 26, noon to 5 PM

The Garden, an event venue in Alexandria, is organizing a family-friendly Pride party filled with arts and crafts. LGBTQ+ tastemakers will have items available to buy. There will be also a rock climbing wall and food trucks. Register for the free event here.

Loudoun Pride
June 26, 1 to 8 PM

The inaugural festival will have live performances, from music acts to drag performers, plus local vendors, food, and more at Claude Moore Park. There will be family-friendly activities such as face painting, bounce houses, and arts & crafts. Tickets start at $7.50 for adults, $5 for kids age four to 17, and free for kids under three.

David Tran
Editorial Fellow