Each year, Philadelphia is home to one of the world’s most active and influential Pride celebrations and communities. In 2019, the Philly Pride Parade and Festival will return on June 9th. Here’s your essential guide to understanding Philly Pride.
Pride celebrations around the country and world are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, an iconic pushback by persecuted LGBT individuals in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village at the time.
Two years after New York’s (and the country’s) first Pride Parade, Philadelphia joined the early wave of cities to kick off the massive Pride Celebration tradition that exists around the world today. Unfortunately, these official parades halted for ten years between 1977 and 1987, but the tradition was reignited by a spontaneous parade in Philly’s famous Gayborhood. That year there also saw the city’s Lesbian and Gay Task Force host a rally in Love Park. The tradition has continued to grow and thrive ever since.
You can help continue that history at the Pride Kick-Off Party this year at 12th and Locust streets. The exciting and joyous event will feature live entertainment, amusements, food from local chefs and more.
A couple of days later, the LGBT Pride Parade will take center stage as the premier event at the festival. Every year, the parade starts at 11:30am at 13th and Locust streets. The surrounding festival will bring music, food, performances, and other festivities to the parade experience beginning at noon. The parade will then move from its start in Gayborhood down Locust Street, past the Historic District then down Market to the Great Plaza along the Delaware River.
With floats and marches from tons of the city’s local bars, restaurants, organizations, and businesses, the parade annually hosts a contest. Some of the categories include: Best Bar, Best Marching Group with Music, Best Theme, Best Float, and Best Non-Profit. There’s also the highly coveted Silver Bowl Trophy “Grand Prize” Fruit Bowl Award.
Festival organizers expect this to be the largest celebration of LGBT pride in the region, and the largest one in the history of Philadelphia. On Pride Day, they will expect upwards of 30,000 attendees. The theme of the event will be “Stonewall 50,” to honor and remember the Stonewall riots and the beginning of the modern LGBT Rights movement. Considering this meaningful milestone, and that Philly Pride Presents is working with 77 partners from the city of Philadelphia, LGBT + and allied organizations, social rights foundations, and other meaningful places—we are confident that this will be a Pride to remember.
Philly Pride Presents, the organization behind all of Pride, is a group of volunteer coordinators working with an administration to put on Pride Day in June and OutFest in October. Both of these annual events champion social activism and celebration of the Philadelphia LGBT Community.
On its website, Philly Pride Presents writes, The purpose of our pride events shall be the advancement of LGBT rights through the visibility and awareness that our parades and festivals create. The purpose is to be achieved through our annual Pride Day parade and festival, our annual National Coming Out Day Block Party (OutFest) and other forms of community outreach as may be appropriate.
Planning a visit to the City of Brotherly Love? Check out the Independent Hotel’s blog for our favorite recommendations of what to see and experience in Philadelphia.