By, Jerome West
Roanoke Pride in the Park
Dates: April 14-15
Location: Elmwood Park
706 South Jefferson St
Roanoke, VA 24011
Info: Roanoke Pride, Inc. and the PRISM Foundation presented the 28th Pride in the Park Celebration this past April. Moving the event, which has traditionally been held in September, to April puts the Roanoke festival at the front of the Pride festival season in the southeastern part of the country. Thousands of attendees enjoyed a full day of events on Saturday, a concert that evening and a festival on Sunday. Roanoke Pride is unique in that it operates The Park dance club, the region’s hottest LGBTQ destination. Profits from the club fund Roanoke Pride’s youth programming and the PRISM Foundation’s youth initiatives, including scholarships.
Reston Town Center
Dates: June 2
Location: Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston
1625 Wiehle Avenue
Reston, VA 20190
Info: The Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston sponsored the first-ever Reston Pride Festival on June 2nd. Rev. Debra Haffner, a minister at UUCR, said that the church created the family-friendly, alcohol-free event to support and celebrate Reston’s LGBTQ community. Haffner’s son, Greg Tartaglione, emceed the event and performed as drag queen Mama Celeste, a local favorite in the San Francisco Bay Area. The festival included more than 10 performers, presentations by area political and faith leaders, exhibits, booths, food and music.
Capital Pride, Washington, D.C.
Dates: June 7-10
Location: Various locations throughout D.C.
Info: Theme: Elements of Us. Our nation’s capital hosted the Heroes Gala & Rally, numerous all-night dance parties, fabulous brunches, a legendary block party, a parade throughout Dupont Circle and a massive street festival on Pennsylvania Avenue, complete with a concert in front of the Capitol. According the Capital Pride’s website, “Together let us stand tall, look forward, take a deep breath and become who we are meant to be—confident, supportive, resilient, compassionate and glorious. Let’s celebrate the many ‘Elements of Us!’” D.C’s Capital Pride is one of the most well-organized and best attended pride events in the nation.
Dates: June 16
Location: Third Street Brewing
312 West 3rd Street
Farmville, VA 23901
Info: Farmville Pride is structured as a Meetup group designed to celebrate the region’s LGBTQ community and its allies. The group is a safe space for LGBTQ individuals and allies to get together in a family-friendly, casual environment once a month. On June 16th, the group hosted a special Pride Month gathering called “Libations and Laughs (Part Deux)” at Third Street Brewing. Organizers displayed a pride flag on a table at the brewery where everyone gathered to celebrate diversity and community in the heart of the Commonwealth.
Winchester Pride Celebration
Dates: June 23
Location: Downtown Winchester, Old Town Mall, Old Courthouse
33 East Boscawen Street, Suite 100
Winchester, VA 22601
Info: The first Winchester Pride Celebration will be held at the Old Town Mall in downtown Winchester on Saturday, June 23rd. The event will include vendor booths, speakers, drag shows, a scavenger hunt, a costume contest and a walking parade along the outdoor pedestrian mall. Many LGBTQ individuals and allies are excited about this inaugural event in northwestern Virginia that will surely be a success!
Pride on the Peninsula
Dates: June 27
Location: Carousel Park
602 Settlers Landing Road
Hampton, VA 23669
Info: Party with Pride at the fourth annual Pride Party on the Peninsula! The event kicks off in Downtown Hampton with an educational forum at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (something new for this year’s event) celebrating 30 years of Pride in Hampton Roads called, “Pride 30: Reflect on Our History.” The fun continues with a Pride Party at Carousel Park, adjacent to the hotel, where attendees will enjoy complimentary food and drinks, as well as free rides on the historic Hampton Carousel. Later, hop aboard the Miss Hampton II for the Second annual Drag Down the River Boat Cruise with performances by three drag queens. This event is a monumental step in building stronger connections between LGBTQ communities on the Peninsula and those on the Southside of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.
Hampton Roads Pride
Dates: June 24-30
Location: Various locations throughout Hampton Roads
Info: Theme: Stand Up, Stand Out: 30 Years Strong. This year’s Pridefest will be the region’s largest to date. It will include a pre-pride kickoff at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, a Drag Brunch in Virginia Beach, happy hours at two local breweries, an interfaith celebration at the New Life Metropolitan Church in Norfolk, a 30-year history of pride in Hampton Roads in Hampton, Pride on the Peninsula in Hampton, the 7th annual Block Party at the Norfolk Scope Arena, the annual Boat Parade at the Norfolk Waterfront and, of course, Pridefest at Town Point Park.
Black Pride RVA
Dates: July 20-22
Location: Various venues throughout Richmond
Info: This will be Virginia’s first official black pride. Black Pride RVA promotes the health and wellness of Black LGBTQ persons through celebration, education and empowerment. The event’s inaugural theme is “Pride with a Purpose.” The weekend will include a benefit dinner and drag show on Friday, a Day of Purpose filled with family-friendly activities and an official after party at the Hippodrome Speakeasy on Saturday, and closing worship services on Sunday.
Shenandoah Valley Pride
Dates: July 20-22
Location: Court Square
80 Court Square
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Info: Shenandoah Valley Pride (SVP) has expanded their annual festival into to a three-day event. A full weekend of events provides opportunities for attendees to participate in additional family-friendly activities and exciting alternatives for those can’t attend the main street festival on Saturday the 21st. SVP’s weekend of festivities will include local and state business vendors, delicious food and performances from local bands and drag queens. Former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, Miss India Ferrah, will headline the event. SVP is also hosting the inaugural Miss Shenandoah Valley Pageant, as well as a new “Hungover Brunch.” The Hotel Madison, just blocks from the heart of downtown Harrisonburg, is offering special rates for SVP attendees.
Cville Pride Festival
Dates: September 15
Location: Sprint Pavilion on Downtown Mall
700 East Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Info: The 7th annual Cville Pride Festival will showcase local LGBTQ culture and resources in a fun, family-friendly and welcoming environment. The festival will cap off a week of events across the city celebrating the LGBTQ community and its allies. The Cville Pride Festival is always an uplifting, community-building and joyful experience that is not to be missed!
Petersburg Out & Proud Festival
Dates: September 16
Location: 309 North Sycamore Street
Petersburg, VA 23803
Info: Theme: This is Me. The Second Annual LGBT Pride event in the Tri-Cities will be held at DJ’s Rajun Cajun in Old Towne Petersburg. The event will be a celebration of pride and community education featuring a host of family-friendly fun during the day. When the sun goes down, don’t miss the After Party at Benny’s Tavern where attendees can dance the night away with DJ Amy Alderman!
Dates: September 22
Location: Brown’s Island
Intersection of Tredegar and South 5th Streets
Richmond, VA 23219
Info: Theme: This is Me. With over 30,000 attendees, VA Pridefest is the largest annual celebration of the LGBTQ community in the Commonwealth. Planned and implemented by Virginia Pride, this free, family-friendly day of festivities feature a variety of vendors, local eats, activities and entertainment for a day of fun in the sun! The RVA Youth Pride Village will return for this year’s Pridefest! Grab your sunscreen and head out for a memorable day celebrating community, love and pride on Brown’s Island!
Northern Virginia Pride Festival
Dates: September 29
Location: Bull Run Special Events Center
7700 Bull Run Drive
Centreville, VA 20121
Info: Theme: United in Pride. The fifth annual Northern Virginia Pride Festival will be held at the Bull Run Special Events Center in Centreville. The event will include numerous vendors, family-friendly activities, music, tasty food and special guest speakers. This event is a fabulous way to celebrate the Pride Festival Season one last time!