Columbus Pride 2009

Everything seems to be different or “changed” in every city this year and Columbus is no exception.  One thing that is true everywhere is there is no shortage of hot boys.  Because of construction of the park near the river the Pride after party and Pride were held a week earlier this year so that they could do the pride fair where the CommFest ususally is located.  This turned out good though because it was closer to our hotel and the Short North area without having to walk all the way downtown.

Axis shined above anything else during the festive weekend.  They had a drag supershow featuring “Something in Red” the “Titanic” and some old movie tunes as part of the entry in the club Saturday night.  Friday night was a dog collar night and it was off the chain with hotties wearing red for taken, yellow for maybe, and green for anything goes (haha just kidding it means you are single and looking to play though).  The DJ in Axis was fabuluous.  No complaints there.

We did the Sunday Funday with lunch at Lemongrass to have their delicious soup, then it was off to Union for Showtunes, then Level for a few drinks.  We then hit up Q Bar and Slammers the lesbian bar down the street.  AWOL we hit up to check out the big patio.

Then night finally came and we went over to Havana which was packed and gave us a great drag and strip show.  After havana everyone headed over to Tradewinds which was a drunken mess that I remember nothing of.  I was happy for the closing song of pride weekend at Tradewinds to be Deborah Cox Beautiful U R.

Gay Pride 2009

June 2009 offers opportunities to attend Pride Fests and Parades across the country and around the world. These range from small community based gatherings to large and well publicized events drawing famous faces and performers.  Pride events typically span the month of June, depending upon the city.

Europride 2009 kicks off the Gay Pride festivities this year. Expect celebrations the weekend of May 30 to June 1st and the following weekend, June 5th through 7th. The Europride Parade takes place at 3:00 PM on June 6th. Live music, speakers, D.J.s and dancing are all planned for this year’s party.

Anyone in the South should consider making a road trip to Austin Pride on June 6th. An attendance of thousands is expected in Republic Park. Grrlz Will Be Boiz, Allie Rolison,  Show Me Tiger! and Holly Lorka will play this year’s Austin Pride. Slightly further North, Tulsa and Kansas City are also hosting smaller Pride celebrations on the 6th of June.

L.A. Pride takes place from June 12th to June 14th. The Dyke March kicks off the weekend and the day’s fun gives way to Erotic City each evening from 8PM to midnight. Look for eborah Cox, Expose, Terri Nunn & Berlin, and Blake Lewis to play at this year’s activities in Los Angeles.

Chicago celebrates gay pride through the month of June, culminating in a parade on June 28th.  The Chicago Pride Street Festival, also on the 28th, includes performers such as Martha Wash, Tiffany, the Windy City Choir, Frenchie Davis this year.  Other events over the course of the month include performances, ceremonies, sporting events and tastings.

New York City Pride takes place over a week in late June. The Rally (the first of the events, taking place June 20, 2009), PRIDEfest, The March, the Dance on the Pier, and Rapture on the River are all held in the West Village. The most notable of these is the March, NYC’s Pride Parade, held on Saturday, June 27.

The most famous commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, San Francisco Pride will be held the last weekend of June, the 27th and 28th. Headlining acts this year on the main stage include BoA, Solange Knowles and The Cliks. The parade will begin at 10:30 AM on June 28th.

Friday Night Madness could be Sunday Seduction

Drag queen in gay pride flag - photo by Guy Maybe it was a push to make it more "family friendly" by what the pride committee sprang out of their heads this year or maybe it was to make the pride parade less stressful. I am not sure what they were thinking because the parade seemed far less people this year than ever before in the five years I have attended the Oklahoma City parade thanks to the decision they made to move it to Friday night.

Let me tell you a few things that I noticed over the weekend. The festival held over at the park on Classen blvd. was so boring we had to leave after five minutes. There was no art to browse over. There were hardly any booths manned after 6pm when it was open until 10pm. Talk about a watered-down event. They should have spent more time recruiting more of an artsy setting than trying to change traditional dates.

hotties at habana pool party board shorts
Instead of enjoying the festival we ended up just eating a nice dinner over at Iron Star that used to be Leslie’s Painted Dessert. Amazing Urban BBQ and cavatappi mac and cheese with 4 cheeses by the way! So maybe it was meant to be.

The traditional Angles T-Dance that everyone enjoys was not on Sunday because the Parade had been moved. Although some poured into Angles on Friday night to have a drink there was only a few bartenders and single lines at each bar. No one was hardly on the dancefloor because everyone was waiting for a drink.

Then we go down to the Copa later on in the night and there was a line inside the Habana Inn. The music was so low we could barely hear it. We asked the DJ to turn up the music louder he came out there and agreed with us. He seemed to be an amateur DJ so he probably was not aware that it still was not loud enough to get people on the dance floor like you normally see.

OKC Pride is so much better when they have it on Sundays. There were more parties to attend, better club nights, and the festival is funner when more people are there at once. If there is no one manning a booth at the festival there is just no reason to go. If you want to stretch it out to all hours of the day and night then you need to book a major act like Deborah Cox or Kristine W to appear that way the local bands will get more of an audience.

If pride is moved to Saturdays it will take away from the clubs revenue on the other nights. I think its always good to have parades on Sunday to make it one extra day the clubs will be busy that way we have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to drink, dance, and be happy.

OKC Pride needs to take notes from Tulsa pride. OKC really had no major sponsors or exciting floats missing the creative ones from the past it seemed bare and more like a bicycle/motorcycle/charity walk instead of a parade. Tulsa really had it going on this year from what everyone is telling me and I would go but its the same weekend as Gay Days and I aint’ missing that! I heard some of the companies that wanted to take part in the parade could not do so because the date was moved up to Friday. Starting at 7pm is just a few hours from rush hour on Friday so people from smaller towns may have had a problem getting into the city in time. The streets were not lined up as far back as years past it was much easier to park this year than in 2007. miss wreck room 2008

The legendary Habana Inn was booked up months in advance for the Friday night which was a positive thing for 2008. In 2007, there were rooms available on the Sunday night of the Parade. But most people probably just left town after the parade on Sundays instead of spending the night. The Habana pool parties were fun on Saturday and Sunday which make a great alternative to the festival.

I will say the drag queens that performed outside the Park bar (Miss Wreck Room) did a great job before and after the pride parade on Friday night. That was absolutely the best part of the Parade. Let’s hope this is moved for 2009 back to Sunday and the 22nd year is flawless.

Pride Activities around the Country

gay boys on pride parade floatMost of us do not have huge parades to look forward to for Pride, unfortunately. No leathermen and dykes on bikes for us as we settle for the local Pride with a mediocre band and informational tables. Pride is typically in mid-June, commemorating the March on Stonewall in New York City in 1969.  The ubiquitous rainbow flag first appeared at San Francisco’s Pride celebration in 1978. Pride parades and celebrations today range from good clean fun to festive, loud and a bit raunchy. The environment of Pride celebrations depends upon the city, the organizers and the overall climate.

If you are looking for dates and locations for Pride events this year, take a look below at some of our suggestions. You’ll find that many cities of any size plan a parade or celebration for Pride. If your city isn’t listed, check with your local gay and lesbian support organization to see if anything is planned. Perhaps next year you could offer to assist in planning if your area isn’t having a Pride celebration this year.

Where are the biggest and best Pride events? Not surprisingly, some of the biggest and best are also the oldest. New York City is home to a major Pride parade each year, as is San Francisco. Baltimore, Boston and L.A. all host large and boisterous Pride celebrations.  Washington D.C., Chicago, and San Diego are also home to major Pride parades and festivities. Some cities offer concurrent Dyke Marches, so if this is of interest, you may want to keep it in mind if you plan to travel to take in one of the big Pride celebrations. Family themed activities are an option at some celebrations, and childcare may even be available in some cases. Do keep in mind that some of these Pride events, especially San Francisco, may fill local hotels so book well in advance if you plan to travel for Pride.

If you have never been to Pride, you may wonder what to expect. While each city’s community has its own personality and thus a unique Pride experience, there are some generalities. Las Vegas hosts a nighttime Pride Parade, while San Francisco is home to a multi day Pride celebration. Most cities of size, from St. Louis to Austin offer great and fun Pride Parades and festivities. Pride isn’t just for people looking to hook up, although that’s apt to be an option if you’re single, but is also a great way to participate in your community, celebrate LGBT history, and enjoy simply being one of the crowd for a while.

Here is a preview of the Summer Pride Parades coming your way:the l word float on gay parade

  • June 20 – Oklahoma City, OK
  • June 21 – Providence, RI
  • June 22 – Pittsburg, PA
  • June 28 – Seattle, WA
  • July 4-6 – Atlanta, GA
  • July 5 – London, England
  • July 6 -Madrid, Spain
  • July 27 – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Aug 3- Europride
  • Aug 15 –Manchester Pride (cool website)
  • Aug 23- Jersey City, NJ
  • Sept 1 – New Orleans (Southern Decadence)
  • Sept 13 – Rehoboth Beach, DE
  • Sept 21 – Dallas, TX
  • Oct 12 – Orlando, FL
  • Nov 1-2 -Palm Springs, CA

Long Beach Pride

One of the largest pride events of the year is about to take place this weekend in Long Beach, California. From a circuit party on the Queen Mary ship to the dancing in tents to hip hop this is definitely one of the largest prides in America. Pride parades are lining up across the country right now. Last week was Vegas Pride that had lots of grand appearances including Hex Hector and Deborah Cox to name a few.

Long Beach has some unique things in store for this years pride you may not have noticed. A singing competition with a $2,500 grand prize called the Pride Star 2007 takes place where an unknown talent will go home with some cash.

DJ Ray Rhodes announced on a Myspace bulletin there is a Long Beach Pride party for all ages on Sunday May 20 called “Aftermath”. That sounds fun and will be held at the modern Renaissance Hotel at 111 E. Ocean Blvd.

The site is annoying with all the graphics and flash but after you get past that you can see there will be performances from Jennifer Hudson, The Indigo Girls, and more May 19 and 20th. It is fun to walk around to all the booths setup but you have to pay an admission it is not free like most cities. General admission to get into the Pride festival is $20, but it goes to a good cause.