Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

The best pride events happening in Denver

By meerna Jun12,2024

With all the rainbow glitter, drag brunches and block parties, it’s easy to forget that Pride Month grew out of the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a prominent gay bar in New York City, and sparked a six-day series of protests by bar patrons and residents of the area, a historic event that is now seen as a pivotal point in the gay rights movement. Since these demonstrations, every June, people have gathered in cities and towns around the world to show support for equal rights.

In Denver, Pride began in 1974 as a celebratory picnic in Cheesman Park and has since evolved into a citywide celebration of the LGBTQ community that attracts half a million participants each year. And this year’s Denver PrideFest is shaping up to be especially big as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. There are still many steps to take, but Denver has made significant progress since Stonewall. We say this is cause for celebration, and here are some ways to do it.

Cabaret of the Lion Queen
Handmade pasta. Disney melodies sung by drag queen princesses. A lively pianist tickles the ivory of a baby grand piano. This could be the Pride event of our dreams. Hosted by Bindery and Champagne Tiger, performers Anna Staysha and Gila Moonstar will sing cabaret renditions of Disney classics to guests while attendees eat rainbow salad, cacio e pepe, margarita focaccia pizza and more. June 12; 18:15; $68

Queer borderline
One sec Brokeback Mountain may be the most mainstream representation of queer love in the American West, there are many other artistic examples of the LGBTQ community on the border. During this American Museum of Western Art lecture series, you’ll hear from experts about artists such as Sir William Drummond Stewart, a Scottish adventurer whose open homosexual relationship eventually forced him to return home, and New Mexico painter Marsden Hartley, who expressed his suppressed homosexuality in his art. June 14, 21 and 28; times are different; $10

Designed specifically for tweens and teens, this family-friendly (and alcohol-free) event includes exciting activities like a runway walk and a trivia game. Aspiring drag artists can learn stage command from JUICCY Misdemeanor, dance to the beats of Denver electronic artist Kaptain, and express themselves through crafts, drawing, and writing. June 14; 19:00–22:00; $10-20

Pride parade on Tennyson Street

Photo courtesy of Call to Arms Brewing

The floats in this neighborhood parade may be the size of a pint, but somehow they manage to create as much of a Pride effect as those you’ll see at a parade in downtown Denver. Area businesses – including many bars and breweries – will design their own miniature displays and extend them to Tennyson Street. Catch the after-party at Call to Arms Brewing Company with a soundtrack by DJ Jen G, and don’t miss the brewery’s other Pride programming, including the post-Pride Hangover Kick Back event on Sunday, June 30. June 15; 16:00–19:00; free

Pride Night at Coors Stadium
Instead of the standard purple, gray and black, Rockies Stadium will resemble a rainbow during Pride’s ceremonial game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Attendees will receive a limited-edition Rockies Pride-themed fanny pack, and ticket purchase automatically includes a donation to the Center on Colfax and One Colorado, two LGBTQ advocacy organizations. June 15; 19:10; $26-$83

Pride Bar Wandering
Between the energetic attendees, the dangerously good drinks, and the raucous after-party, this daring bar crawl is guaranteed to be a blast. Drink for variety at bars including Bad Habits ($12 for four hours of unlimited beer), Tight End ($3 shots of Gaytorade and Pride) and Your Mom’s House ($6 strawberry margarita); stop for a drag show at the Show Pony; and end the night at Charlie’s Denver. June 15; 16:00 – midnight; $10-$30

Private Spaces: Queer Capitol Hill Walking Tour
From Poets Row on Sherman Street to the Molly Brown House, many of the Capitol’s landmarks have untold stories of being safe havens for the queer community. Led by Colorado LGBTQ History Project for Center on Colfax co-founder David Duffield, this walking tour will shed light on these historic sites, teach guests how Denver’s laws segregated queer communities, and discover the city’s history of activism. June 15, 20, 27; times are different; $20-25

OUTLoud music presentation
If your favorite way to express joy is dancing, this two-day queer music festival is a must. The lineup includes local and national acts such as California singer Mariah Counts, Denver rapper Jelie, Colorado musician sashiBOOM and local creative LadyGang, who is releasing an album at the event. June 20–21; start at 6:00 p.m.; $18-$35

Pride of Denver

Photo: Ashley Schoenbauer

The Mile High City Pride event is always a can’t-miss celebration, but its 50th anniversary makes it a truly historic event. The two-day festival kicks off on Saturday morning with a Pride-inspired 5K race, followed by a party at Civic Center Park with over 200 exhibitors. performances by drag queen/environmentalist Pattie Goni, RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Shea Couleé and more; and the epic Sunday parade that attracts over 100,000 people each year. New this year is the Gayborhood Market at Lincoln Veterans Memorial Park, where over 100 small businesses and artisans will showcase their wares. June 22–23; Saturday 11:00–19:00, Sunday 10:00–18:00; free

Sheraton PRIDE Market
Located just a few blocks from Denver’s annual PrideFest, the market attracts hundreds of members and allies of the queer community — not to mention Gov. Jared Polis, who was in attendance last year. Visitors can peruse handmade goods, watch performances by more than a dozen drag queens, and get makeup demonstrations from the queens themselves. On Saturday, don’t miss the all-ages show in the Sheraton Lobby, featuring stand-up comedians, musicians and more. Market: June 22–23; noon–7 p.m.; free; Entertainment program: June 22; 19:00–21:00; free

The pride of the entire block

Photo courtesy of Dairy Block

This eventful Dairy Block Pride festival is so much fun you’ll want to remember it – and luckily, you can get the ultimate souvenir in the form of a stick-and-poke Pride tattoo. Those looking for a less permanent token can take a photo in the photo booth of a vintage VW bus between performances by six drag queens (including Muni Tox and Star Kirkland) and delicious food and drink specials (we’re looking forward to LoDough Bakery’s rainbow croissants and Glitter-ita Kachina Cantina margaritas). 22th June; 11:00–14:00; free

Kim Habicht

By meerna

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