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For those new to Denver, welcome to one of the largest Pride Fests in the nation! More than 380,000 people poured into Civic Center Park at last year’s PrideFest, with 120,000 crowding the sidewalks of Colfax for the Pride Parade.

So if you’re a size queen, Denver is the city for Pride.

To make the best of this gargantuan gathering, be sure to prep yourself before you sashay your way through the throngs of friendly folks while wearing your purple speedos to accentuate your… sass.

Sunblock

Slather it on. Lots of thick, creamy layers of sunscreen greedily applied to your now-shiny skin — hopefully by some scantily-clad hookup with dark-green eyes you picked up the night before. Denver’s sun will burn layers of skin off, even if it’s cloudy. Spontaneous combustion has been reported in the past. So wear your sunscreen and flame on. (Figuratively speaking.)

Water your Voice Tunnel

Toss lots of H20 down your throat, especially if you plan on dancing your heart out next to the vodka tent. Dance that heartache from your ex right off of your sunblock-slathered body. Just stay hydrated so you don’t pass out next to your green-eyed hookup. Pro Tip: Ask for a lime so the water looks like a vodka drink.

Dress like a Freak

Pride is like a summer version of Halloween with rainbow flags instead of black sackcloth. Jennifer Holliday instead of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Denver Cycle Sluts instead of the Denver Zombie Crawl. Be creative. Be fabulous. Be you!

Volunteer

Showcase your talents to help with one of the nation’s largest Pride Fests — even if that talent involves bowling balls, nipple clamps, and lube. You’ll meet a ton of new faces, see what it’s like to put together the third-largest Pride Fest in the nation, and maybe even get laid. It’s a win-win. Just don’t suck face until your volunteer shift is over.

F*ck a Local

There are plenty of lonely Colorado natives who would jump on the chance to be a Pride escort for some hot transplant from Minnesota. Denver has a treasure trove of local hidden wonders made all the more wonderful as a shared experience.

Gear Up

Throw some rain gear in a backpack for when the sky opens up with angry sheets of rain. Bring cash to avoid ATM lines. You can’t bring any coolers, but you can bring empty jugs and fill them with water inside the park. (If you do bring bottles of water, the must be factory sealed.) And they will search through your stuff, so leave the diamond-studded dildo nunchucks at home.

Ignore the F*cking Protesters

They are there to nurture conflict. They are there to be assholes. They are there to steal away the joy of you being you. Don’t waste your time arguing with hate.

Be Mindful

Sometime during PrideFest weekend, just stop. Ground your feet and stop. Hold the hand of your green-eyed hookup. Look around you. Thousands upon thousands of people are enjoying the day. There was a time, not too long ago, when being LGBTQ in Denver could get you thrown in jail. Take a few minutes to stay in the present and recognize that you are here, on this planet, being you, surrounded by people who support you being you. What a phenomenal experience to be a part of.