How to celebrate Pride Month around the D.C. region Your quintessential guide June is here: There is no shortage of Pride month parades, parties, and concerts in the D.C. region this year.
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How to celebrate Pride Month around the D.C. region

D.C.'s annual pride parade is expected to draw big crowds this year as the city is even further out of the pandemic. Ted Eytan/Flickr hide caption

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Ted Eytan/Flickr

Happy Pride Month! Whether you're looking to party with a drink in hand, march at the annual Pride Parade, run a 5K, or deliver some spoken-word poetry, there are many festive ways (some family-friendly and some not so family-friendly) to demonstrate, celebrate, or show your LGBTQ+ pride this year. While some of the most sought-after tickets may already be sold out, there are still plenty of events with space available. Here are some highlights:


CAPITAL PRIDE HONORS: Every Pride Month, the Capital Pride Alliance hosts a ceremony honoring notable LGBTQ+ leaders and advocates in the D.C. region. Buy a ticket and acquire two drinks, hor d'oeuvres, games and entertainment. ASL available. All proceeds go to the Capital Pride Alliance and the Pride 365 Fund. (Penn Social; June 2 from 7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; $25+)

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POOL PARTY: Kick-off Capital Pride Celebration weekend at a rooftop pool with volunteers, supporters, and partners of the Capital Pride Alliance. A ticket will get you three drinks and food by the pool. (Penthouse Pool and Lounge Navy Yard; June 8 from 8 p.m.; $25+)

DC FRONT RUNNERS PRIDE RUN 5K: Voted Best LGBTQ Event in 2022 by the Washington Blade, this run draws about 1,000 participants every year. Following the run there'll be a finish line party with beer, a live DJ, and awards. Registration for the in-person 5k ends on June 9 at noon. Don't forget to pick up your packet in advance. (Congressional Cemetery; June 9 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $55)

RIOT!: Named in honor of the Stonewall uprising, RIOT! is the official opening dance party of Capital Pride. Performers this year include Alaska Thunderfuck and Tatianna from RuPaul's Drag Race, and various D.C. performers, including Blaq Dinamyte, Bumper, Druex Sidora, Evry Pleasure, and Jane Saw. The party will be DJed by Lemz, Honey, and Ed Bailey. The event is for people 18+. (Echostage, June 9 from 9 p.m.-3:30 a.m.; $35+)

PRIDE PARADE: D.C.'s historic Capital Pride Parade is one of the largest pride demonstrations in the country, and apparently this year's will be one of the largest ever the District has seen. The parade route is the same as last year's and will have a dedicated accessibility zone and a "family zone" for families and children. (Logan Circle and Dupont Circle, June 10 from 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; FREE)

PRIDE ON THE PIER: This annual waterfront celebration, hosted by the Washington Blade, LURe DC, and the Wharf, will feature a DJ, dancing, booze, and a fireworks show to top off the evening. The event is open to all but for a more luxurious experience, you can get a VIP ticket and enjoy complimentary drinks and food in the Dockmasters Building. (The Wharf; June 10 from 2 p.m.-9 p.m.; FREE, VIP tickets $75+)

KINETIC: PRIDE DC: A ticket to Kinetic: Pride DC means access to four parties over four nights at four different venues. This year's main event is KINETIC: Candyland, featuring international pop star Betty Who on Saturday, June 10 at Echostage. (Various venues; June 8-11.; $219+)

CAPITAL PRIDE FESTIVAL: This annual day of festivities will have more than 300 exhibitors, food, drink, and entertainment on three stages. The performers at this year's Capital Pride Concert include none other than Rina Sawayama and Broadway star Idina Menzel, as well as Hayley Kyoko, Monet X, Debbie Gibson and Shanice. (Pennsylvania Avenue; June 11, 12 p.m.-10 p.m.; FREE)

PRIDE DRAG BRUNCH AT ALL SET: Silver Spring's All Set Restaurant & Bar will be hosting Saturday brunch performances from Haus of Stone drag queens. The restaurant will donate 10% of sales (excluding tax and gratuity) to local organization TransMaryland. Dishes include Maine lobster rolls, four different types of eggs benedict, and french toast. There will, of course, be mimosas, and specialty brunch cocktails. (All Set; June 3 and 17. Doors open 11 a.m, shows start at noon; $10+)

DRAGATHON EXTRAVA-GAY-ZA: Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital will be hosting an inaugural outdoor festival featuring drag performances and local queer businesses, organizations, and artists. Vendors include Drag Story Hour, Handmade Void, Karos Creations, and Queer Quartz Designs. (Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave; June 18, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.; FREE to $15)

DYKE MARCH: The birthplace of Dyke March, now held across the country, was D.C., and this Pride Month city will be celebrating its 30th annual Dyke March. This year's theme is Dykes for Trans Rights. Organizers have been holding marshal trainings (masks required) at the Woodridge Library — there is one more scheduled for June 4 at 2 p.m. The event itself is June 9; check Instagram or sign up to receive more info on time and location. (Location TBD; June 9, time TBD; FREE)

MIXTAPE PRIDE PARTY: It's the 15th anniversary of LGBTQ dance party MIXTAPE. Dance the night away to a mix including house, indie dance, and electropop by DJs Matt Bailer, Khelen Bhatia, Diyanna Monet, and Pwrpuff. For ages 21+. (9:30 Club; June 9, 10 p.m.; $25, tickets here)


GAZE UPON GAYS: In his first solo exhibition, artist Josh Tetzlaff displays a collection of optical and homoerotic art. In Tetzlaff's words, his art engages with the gay gaze and "queer espionage" — gay themes hidden in plain sight. The exhibition will be at the DC Arts Center's Main Gallery, known for curating work from underrepresented artists in the region. (DC Arts Center Main Gallery; exhibition ongoing, artist talk on June 11, 3 p.m., closing reception June 25, 6 p.m.; FREE)

THE NEW EAGLE CREEK SALOON: This interactive exhibition by artist Sadie Barnette has been in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and is now making its debut in D.C. The New Eagle Creek Saloon is a reimagining of Barnette's father's bar — the first Black-owned gay bar in San Francisco. As part of the exhibition there will also be happy hours, film screenings, live music, and wellness events. Programming partners include local organizations For Freedoms, Harriet's Wildest Dreams, and Black Techno Matters. (STABLEarts; exhibition closes July 8; FREE but registration required here)

one in two: Pose star Ryan Jamaal Swain — also a Howard University alum — will star in this Mosaic Theater Company production, alongside local actors Justin Weaks and Michael Kevin Darnal. Written by award-winning playwright Donja R. Love, one in two draws inspiration from Love's own HIV diagnosis and centers on Black, queer, HIV-positive characters. (Mosaic Theater Company, June 1-25; $29+)

"THE GROUND WE STAND ON:" This new exhibit in subterranean art space Dupont Underground spotlights the lives and contributions of 25 LGBTQ+ pioneers of D.C. Alongside with the exhibition, the venue will host Drag Underground on Fridays in June, a poetry slam on June 17, a queer disco on June 25, and other special events. The closing celebration on June 24 at 8 p.m. will be a queer disco dance party!(Dupont Underground, opening reception June 2, 5-7 p.m., closes June 25; tickets $8+, opening reception FREE)

PRIDE FAMILY DAY: Learn about LGBTQ+ artists in an art scavenger hunt at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Pride Family Day, or get creative with crafts, face paint (for those 12 years and younger), and the photo booth. There'll be music by all-women Afro-Brazilian group Batalá, DC's Different Drummers, and acapella group Snowday, and the courtyard café will offer a special menu. (Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery; June 3, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.; FREE, register here)

BENT: For this year's Pride, 9:30 Club's annual LGBTQ+ dance party will be hosted by Pussy Noir and feature DJs Lemz, Kotic Couture, and Sarah Myers and performances by Pussy Noir, Molasses, Theo Bromine, Sirene Noir Sidora Jackson, and Dabatha Christie. (9:30 Club; June 3, 10 p.m.; $25+)

OUTSPOKEN: Busboys and Poets in Brookland is hosting its annual "night of queer expression" — an open mic event for spoken word poets. The mic is open to all, whether you're a professional performer or doing this for the first time. Organizers "especially encourage" women to make their voices heard. (Busboys and Poets, Brookland; June 5, 7 p.m.; $15+)

DC/DOX DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL: This new documentary film festival features LGBTQ+ stories from across the country, including a documentary about queer folk rock duo Indigo Girls, and another about Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York. Screening locations include the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and the in-house cinema at Eaton Hotel. (Multiple locations; June 15-18. Full schedule and tickets here. $15+)

PRIDE POETRY READING: The Arts Club of Washington's five inaugural 2023 Poets-in-Residence — Sunu P. Chandy, Tanya Olson, Kim Roberts, Malik Thompson, and Dan Vera — will give a reading in honor of National Pride Month to mark the end of their residency. The reading is free but registration is encouraged. (Arts Club of Washington; June 29, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; FREE, register here)


TAKOMA PARK: Many of the main events at this annual festival are geared towards children. It'll start with a Kids' Pride Parade beginning at 201 Ethan Allen Avenue and ending at the Laurel Ave Pride Street Fair, where there'll be crafts, street chalking, and face painting till 2 p.m.. At 11 a.m. children are welcome to join Ms. Hazel for Drag Queen Storytime. The theme of this year's Takoma Pride Day is Protect Trans Rights. (Takoma Park; June 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; FREE)

ALEXANDRIA PRIDE: Alexandria's sixth annual pride event will be full of music, food, and art, and includes a drag queen story hour, a spoken word poetry event, and an improv workshop. While you're there, you can also get free and confidential health services and vaccines. (Alexandria City Hall; June 3, 2 p.m.-5 p.m.; FREE)

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY INAUGURAL PRIDE WALK: Prince George's County's first ever pride walk will take participants on a roughly hour-long walk through the National Harbor neighborhood, and end with a finish line party. There'll be live music and local LGBTQ+ vendors. (National Harbor; June 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; FREE)

FAMILY PRIDE PICNIC IN THE PARK: Bring a picnic and blanket to this family-friendly pride celebration of LGBTQ+ artists and contemporary art, featuring live music and crafts. Children's author Vicki Johnson will make an appearance with her new book, Molly's Tuxedo. (Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington; June 17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; FREE)

ARLINGTON PRIDE FESTIVAL: This year's theme for one of Arlington's largest summer events is "Moving Forward Together." There'll be food and drink, vendors, live entertainment, surprise guests, games, photo opportunities, a live showcase by local artists, and a pet entertainment area. (Rosslyn Gateway Park; June 24 from 12 – 7 p.m.; FREE)

ROCKVILLE PRIDE: The City of Rockville's Human Rights Commission will be celebrating its seventh annual Rockville Pride, featuring live performances, info booths, arts and crafts, and activities for children. (Rockville Town Square; June 24 from 1-4 p.m.; FREE)

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