Hundreds of thousands pool into Minneapolis-St. Paul this weekend (June 21-23) to celebrate Twin Cities Pride. Is it expected to rain? Don’t worry about it—this parade marches on.
Specifically, the 2019 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade. On Sunday, June 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the parade will follow a new route, since Hennepin Avenue is under construction. So take your folding chairs to Second Avenue South in Minneapolis. The parade will start at Third Street South, go around the Convention Center, and funnel into Loring Park. (Actually, just look at this parade map.)
There, in Loring Park, Twin Cities Pride Fest will once again feature more than 400 exhibitors. They cover six zones (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple—as seen in this beautiful watercolor map of Loring Park by illustrator Gina Glynn for Twin Cities Pride Magazine). In red, you’ll find arts and culture. In orange and purple, two beer gardens. Food courts in yellow, blue, and purple. Also in blue: the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter History Pavilion, spelling out our local LGBTQ history with tens of thousands of artifacts. (Here’s a more technical map of Loring Park if you’re a planner.)
Throughout the park, music and drag performers will take to four free stages. And the big name this year, requiring tickets and absolutely no scrubs: TLC on Saturday, June 22, at 6 p.m., on the Loring Stage. Rupaul’s Drag Race All-Stars winner Monét X Change will emcee. (There’s also reportedly going to be an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for most drag queens on a stage together.)
Now, for getting there, construction might make things a little tough. Metro Transit offers a downloadable free pass (click here) on Sunday for folks headed to the parade. Two Uber/Lyft spots will be available: at Yale and Willow, and at 15th Street near Lyndale and Hennepin. (Lyft has an exclusive spot at Maple and Harmon.) Plus, there’s a Nice Ride docking station on 15th Street.
Here are some other weekend Pride events that haven’t sold out yet. (Note: not including hitting up a gay bar after the festival, which is a given.)
Beer Dabbler at Twin Cities Pride
When: June 21, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: Loring Park, Minneapolis
A distinctly Minnesotan take on Pride sees 50-plus local craft breweries in Loring Park. It’s hosted by the Beer Dabbler people—the people who put on all of those other dabblers throughout the year. A portion of every ticket sale supports Twin Cities Pride. This year, the theme is all things drag.
BLB Pride Block Party
When: June 21, 6-10:30 p.m.
Where: Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis
This free block party gussies up Uptown with live music and street vendors. The LGBTQ-stocked lineup includes Venus DeMars, Genital Panic, and Static Panic. Plus: plenty of beer, cocktails, cider, hard seltzers, boozy slushies, and more. Pair them with cheese curds, poutine, hot dogs, and mouthwatering Peterson Limousin burgers. A portion of proceeds will go to OutFront Minnesota, a local advocacy group.
Pop-Up! Pride Edition
When: June 21, 9 p.m.
Where: First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis
The Current presents a Pride pop-up party, with DJ Shannon Blowtorch, Dykes Do Drag, Lex Allen, and more musical artists in the First Ave Mainroom.
Maggie Faris’ Second Annual Pride Comedy Show
When: June 21, 22; 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Where: Sisyphus Brewing, 712 Ontario Ave. W., Minneapolis
Twin Cities standup-comedy veteran Maggie Faris (who won The Advocate‘s Next Great Queer Comedian contest in 2013) hosts two nights of local LGBTQ comedians, in all-are-welcome shows at Sisyphus Brewing.
Fruit Bowl at Memory Lanes
When: June 21, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Memory Lanes, 2520 26th Ave. S., Minneapolis
As a family-friendly option, Memory Lanes organizes bowling, volleyball, karaoke, a taco bar, and kids’ activities to benefit JustUs Health, a social services organization developed by the Minnesota AIDS Project. Twin Cities drag performer Slaymantha Fox emcees.
Flip Phone and Manila Luzon at First Avenue
When: June 22, 9 p.m.
Where: First Avenue, 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis
Flip Phone, ever proving itself Minneapolis’ premier party wrangler, serves up a First Avenue Pride show that stars RuPaul’s Drag Race camp-glam fav (and Minnesota native, btw) Manila Luzon. As of press time, there are still tickets.
Pride at Café & Bar Lurcat
When: June 22, noon-8 p.m.; June 23, noon-6 p.m.
Where: Café & Bar Lurcat, 1624 Harmon Pl., Minneapolis
In a breezy bar space that spills onto an outdoor patio, near where the parade concludes at Loring Park, Café & Bar Lurcat hosts all-day dance parties on Saturday and Sunday. A round of DJs spin through hits from the ’80s to today, with some karaoke thrown in. And there’s no cover.
Woman’s Club Pride Dance
When: June 22, 23; 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
Where: Woman’s Club, 410 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis
All are welcome at this two-day dance party at the Woman’s Club, right across the street from Loring Park. Food, drinks, music by DJ Brian Engel—and, at 10 p.m., you’ll get to see the fireworks.
Smack Shack Foam Party
When: June 22, noon-3 p.m.
Where: Smack Shack, 603 N. Washington Ave., Minneapollis
The place that sells lobster rolls is having a foam party? Yes! Groups of four get their own pickup-truck pool for hosting a private, three-hour, bubbly shindig. It comes with a bottle of Yes Way Rosé and music by DJ Strangelove. Tickets are going for $200.
Rainbow Run 5K
When: June 23, 9:30 a.m.
Where: See this year’s new route here
The Rainbow Run returns for its eighth year. Participants take off from Boom Island Park and run a little over three miles to Loring Park, where the festival is happening. As if going for a morning run weren’t proof enough of their superiority, they get free beers in the Twin Cities Pride Festival Beer Garden.