Philadelphia’s 26th Annual PrideDay, the city’s official LGBT parade and festival takes over the city this Sunday, June 8. The parade hits the streets starting in the Gayborhood at 13th and Locust at noon with several performances along the parade route and concludes at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing around 1:30 p.m.
What would a parade be without an after party? Following the finish of the parade (though gates open at noon), the Great Plaza will hold the yearly Pride Festival with food, vendors, community organizations and lots of live performances. Among the entertainers this year are headliners The Village People, string quartet Well Strung, master of ceremonies Henri David and Miss Philly Gay Pride 2014 Mimi ImFurst. Other highlights of the day will be the dance area, health area (offering STD screenings), pet zone (featuring adoptable animals) and a dunk tank.
Heads up for festival-goers: admission for this year’s event has been raised slightly to $15 and it’s suggested that you leave any bags at home—they’ll be checked at entry.
Another notable aspect of this year’s celebration will be marriage ceremonies at Independence Mall. After the parade route passes by Independence Mall, Judge Daniel Anders of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas will wed previously registered couples. Pairs must already have a marriage license and will have to report to the reviewing stand at Independence Mall by noon. Be sure to check other directions to ensure you get on the list to tie the knot.
Prior to Sunday’s big party, the Commonwealth Plaza at the Kimmel Center hosts a Pride Celebration on Tuesday, June 3 at 6 p.m. Local choirs like Philadelphia Voices of Pride, The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware, Anna Crusis Women's Choir and Sharon Katz and the Peace Train will perform at this free concert to get you prepped for Friday, June 6’s Pride Kick-off Block Party. From 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., 12th Street from Walnut to Spruce, enjoy a block party with drinks, games to get the weekend started. Discounted passes to Sunday’s festival will be available for purchase as well.
If you’re coming from out of town and want to make a weekend out of it, news was recently announced that two Philadelphia Kimpton Hotels would begin offering “gaycation” packages and rooms are still available for this weekend’s excitement.