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Amid Pride Month, the Twin Cities host their annual Pride Festival, a two-day free event that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. With over 400 exhibitor booths, 40 food vendors, and 4 free stages with music and other performances such as cabarets, drag shows, DJs, and more, it’s a vibrant event to show and embrace your pride. Open to all LGBTQ+ people and allies, Twin Cities Pride’s mission is to create an experience that will bring the community together, commemorate diversity, foster inclusion, create awareness, and, most of all, celebrate our identities.
This year, Pride Fest takes place on June 23-24 at Loring Park. Considering how many vendors are there, downloading their official map ahead of time is well advised. In addition, Metro Transit is offering free rides to and from the festival and parade on June 24. Download your ticket.
You can easily spend the day strolling though the festival, eating, shopping, and chatting at all the different booths. In addition to the festival, there are many other events happening throughout the cities, too. From fun runs to the opera, there is no shortage of prideful activities to participate in this weekend.
7th Annual Beer Dabbler
When: June 22, at 5:30-9:30 p.m
Where: Loring Park
At this annual event, ticket holders can sample craft beer from 50 Minnesota breweries while enjoying other activities and entertainment like live music and a silent disco—all within the beauty of Loring Park. Portions of the tickets support Twin Cities Pride. Buy tickets and see the full list of breweries online. Learn more.
8th Annual Walk Against Bullying
When: June 23, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Where: Bde Maka Ska
As part of the No Bullying Movement, come out to Bde Maka Ska and walk around the lake to show your support to end bullying. Whether you register ahead of time or the day of, participants get T-shirts. Learn more.
Minnesota Vikings at Twin Cities Pride
When: June 23 at 10 a.m. and June 24 at 6 p.m.
Where: Loring Park
Your favorite football team is celebrating Pride. Stop by the Minnesota Vikings booth for giveaways, contests, and exclusive Vikings Rewards points. Find them at Pride Sports Field off of Willow Street in Loring Park (G34 on the designated maps). Learn more.
Pride in Concert
When: June 23 at 5-10 p.m.
Where: Loring Park
It’s the big concert everyone is waiting for. Brandy, along with her full band and dancers, is this year’s headliner. Also joining her onstage is Jamecia Bennett, Jujubee, and the Vigilantease Collective. Fireworks will follow the concert at 10 p.m. The concert is 18+ and 21+, with VIP tickets are also available. Learn more.
Minnesota Opera Presents Fellow Travelers
When: June 23, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Where: The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, Goodale Theater
Cost: Starting at $25
Take a trip to the opera and see Fellow Travelers, the tale of a love affair between two men in 1950s McCarthy-era Washington D.C. The chance encounter between the two turns dangerous as they navigate their double lives. This performance hits notes of politics, drama, humor, and heartbreak. The show includes English captions. Learn more.
When: June 24 at 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Boom Island Park
Now in it’s seventh year, the Rainbow Run 5K is a staple of Twin Cities Pride. The race begins at Boom Island, and the last mile is the Parade Route, where you’ll be cheered on to the finish line. After the race, 21+ runners get a free beer at the Twin Cities Pride Festival Beer Garden. Learn more.
2018 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade
When: June 24 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Hennepin Ave.
Rainbows, candy, and lots of pride for the main event. You’ll want to be sure to grab a good seat for the Parade because it’s more like a big celebration than your standard march. Want an extra special view of the event? Book tickets at the Grandstand for a deluxe viewing experience, or get spots at the Cowles Center for family-friendly bleacher viewing. Be sure to check out the full lineup ahead of time online. Learn more.
Pride Crawl Minneapolis
When: June 24 2-11:59 p.m.
Where: Gay 90’s
It’s the official bar crawl of Pride fest. What’s included in a ticket: three free drinks from Gay 90’s, LUSH, and Brothers Bar & Grill, free cover at participating bars, select drink and food specials for crawlers at select locations, free party bus transportation between each bar, and more. All tickets receive equal access to the event. Full details of the craw, including tickets, group rates, and hotel discounts, are available online. Learn more.
Farther north than the Twin Cities? Duluth and Superior are co-hosting their Pride Festival on August 30-September 2. Here’s a quick preview: drag shows, art exhibits, family friendly events, a parade, and of course the FooFoo Choochoo, a 21+ party on a three-hour train ride along the shores of Lake Superior, with food, drinks, dancing, and killer views.