Let’s admit it: June is the best month to be queer. Businesses in town fly rainbow flags, bars host special events and brandish discounts, and organizations roll out engaging programs that connect us to queer folk past and present. You will probably have the opportunity to attend private pool parties or exclusive events throughout the weekend, but here are ways everyone can get involved in Denver’s Pride Week.
March in the Parade
Forty-six years after the Stonewall riots, the PrideFest Parade is the heart of our celebration of LGBT+ agency, self-determination, and alliances. It will start at Cheesman Park at 9:30am on Sunday, June 19 and move to Civic Center Park. Whether you march, hop on your organization’s or company’s parade float, play music in a marching band, or just watch from the side, you can expect a crowd. The Dyke March typically takes place on Saturday, so watch for that as well.
Connect with Queer History
PrideFest is an excellent time to learn more about LGBT history, particularly in Denver as both the Center and OUT FRONT celebrate their 40th anniversaries. Join the Center on Monday, June 13 11am–1pm at the First Unitarian Church for a panel featuring seven of the eight living founding members who will discuss “How the Center Began.” Meanwhile, on Tuesday, June 14 at 4:30pm and 7pm, Denver Film Society and Cinema Q will be hosting a double feature at Sie Film Center: the classic gay rom-com La Cage aux Folles and The Birdcage, the American film it inspired.
Be a Part of the Family
Some family you’re born with and some you choose. Show your support of your queer brothers and sisters by volunteering for a couple hours at PrideFest. Sign up online at the LGBT Center, and you’ll score a free meal the day you volunteer. If you have kids, nephews, and nieces, bring them to the Kids Parade on Saturday at noon and for the petting zoo both days. Finally, check out the fun shows throughout Pride Week, including the Dogs in Drag Show on Saturday at 12pm, the Lil Big Shot kids talent show at 12:30, and the Seniors Got Talent Show on Tuesday, June 14 at 11:30am at The Center.
Run the Big Gay 5k
You have summer #goals, right? Take a step toward them by walking or running the Big Gay 5k. The race starts at Civic Center Park at 10am on Saturday, June 18 and loops around Cap Hill via Cheesman Park. Coordinate rainbow costumes with your friends and get your endorphins going!
Be Inspired by LGBT+ Musical Groups
If you’re the person who got goose bumps from Mariah and Whitney’s There Can Be Miracles as a kid, let Denver’s LGBT+ choruses and bands give you the feels. The Rocky Mountain Arts Association is bringing together the triple threat of the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, the Denver Women’s Chorus, and Out Loud: Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus for Rocky Mountain Voices — a special concert on Sunday June 18, 2pm & 7pm at DU. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, June 14, at 7pm, you can listen to the Melodies of Pride from the Mile High Freedom Bands in Civic Center Park.
Mix and Mingle with Other Queer Nerds
Just because it’s Pride week doesn’t mean we have to be as fabulous as a Carnivale samba dancer or as drunk as a Mardi Gras bead-catcher. Queer nerds unite (in cosplay!) at Denver Comic Con, with special LGBT panels all day Friday. Meanwhile, Denver Museum of Nature and Science will be hosting The Science Lounge, a PrideFest 21+ mixer on Thursday night, June 16 from 6:30pm–9:30pm, ensuring that science geeks find chemistry in their element.
With all of these events, PrideFest has something for everyone, including three stages and hundreds of vendors at the main event all day Saturday and Sunday. Whether you’re perfecting your costume or body or catching up on sleep and sobriety in the days before, get ready for a great weekend!