If you’re looking for gay-friendly destinations, accommodations, or nightlife, IgoUgo travelers have plenty of recommendations. Beyond that, many have shared stories from LGBT Pride events; here are some festivities worth a summer trip or two.
San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration
On June 29, catch the parade that dglawless called “an awesome experience” and that panda1 described as having “colorful costumes, colorful people.” British visitor toombsey says, “If you happen to be in San Francisco during Gay Pride, do go to the parade. Even if you are straight like us, you will thoroughly enjoy yourself.” The extravaganza caps off a month of Pride events in San Francisco that includes the Frameline LGBT Film Festival, another panda1 favorite.
Berlin CSD Parade
If, like lamtrc, you’re “not fond of any Pride events in the States because they are way too commercialized and full of attitudes,” escape to Europe and Berlin’s Gay Pride Parade on June 28. There, he says, “Pride days are just one big, fun party for people to enjoy themselves.” Stick around until the end when “people gather at the Siegessäule (Victory Column) to party till midnight with laughs, music, dance, and alcohol...a fantastic combination.”
Paris Marche des Fiertés LGBT
The same day, June 28, Paris stages its Pride Parade, during which, several years ago, Rasberry described the following scene: “The rotary around the Colonne de Juillet at Place de la Bastille was closed to the public, people were dancing on the column, and a large van was driving around playing dance music. It was a great atmosphere and the party continued into the evening in the bars in the Marais.” Likewise, gaia says the parade sees “tons and tons of people having fun and dancing in the streets.”
The theme of London’s 2008 event on July 5 is “Fairytales, Myths, and Legends,” proving it’s grown fantastically since Pride London’s first official parade in 2004. Aforementioned Europe fan lamtrc attended in 2005 and while he said that “London Pride is surprisingly small compared with those in Paris and Berlin,” he returned with some fabulous photos. Besides, as actonsteve once enthusiastically put it, “London has a buzzing gay scene that goes on 24 hours a day! So come join the party! You will soon learn that the queen doesn't just dwell in Buckingham Palace!"
Madison Pride MAGIC Weekend
Though Pride activities in Madison, Wisconsin, will be scaled back this year, the city’s parade will take place on July 20. MCJ graduate wrote extensively and appreciatively about her first gay-pride experience there: “Was it a gay Mardi Gras, a rally, a picnic, a drag show, or an entertainment expo? Actually, it was all of these things. It was a weekend celebration of life—gay life! It was Madison, Wisconsin’s 32nd annual Pride celebration, which is one of the oldest in the country.”
Provincetown Family Week
If you have children in your crew, join the Family Equality Council—and IgoUgo member SFPhotocraft—for Family Week on Cape Cod from July 26 to August 2. IgoUgo’s frequent participant describes it as a “special time each year when gay families from all over come to the tip of Cape Cod for clambakes and bonfires and to meet and be with old friends.” In case you’re not yet convinced, he continues: “The weather is usually at it's summer peak and life could not be better. We love P'town anytime, but Family Week is the most special week of all.”
Pride in Brighton & Hove
August 2 marks this year’s Carnival Parade in Brighton, the high point of the UK’s biggest free Pride festival. Kansas native kristin5683 was seaside for the event and says, “While not gay myself, there was still much to enjoy during the Gay Pride Parade in Brighton. Floats with booming music, dancers dressed in chaps and pink cowboy hats, and kids holding rainbow flags are just a few of the features of the parade. There was a fun fair in Preston Park with rides, food stands, and dance tents. Gay or straight, everyone is welcome as long as you're open-minded and considerate of others.” Big Gay Al assures us that “Brighton Pride is the best Gay Pride in the UK,” and kim101 adds, “I visited Brighton last year for the Pride festival and it was a really unique experience!”
Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival
Austin’s Pride Parade is June 14 this year, but jremigio prefers the city from September 3-7, when the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival will take place. The Labor Day week event screens “documentaries, comedies, dramas, animation, and shorts—some of which are US and international premieres,” he says. In short, it’s a silver-screen lining to the end of summer.