Nationwide, June is Pride Month for most cities. It is a time for people from all generations, all walks of life to come together and celebrate. It is a time to truly embrace all colors of the rainbow. Primaryly, Pride is a time for Gays and Lesbians to celebrate being out and proud. Being a rather progressive city, Seattle does not disappoint. So if you want to get out and enjoy the festivities, here is what you need to know!
Friday, June 22 nd – 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Cal Anderson Park
The kick off of Pride Weekend and not just for Trans people! Allies are very welcome to join. Music with Live Singers and Vendors selling all different type of merchandise.
Your Trans Pride Tip:
If you are not Trans, remember not to stare. For some it may be a new experience seeing Trans people and as interested as you may be about everything, remember that staring can make people feel weird.
Best practice, go up to people and introduce yourself. Say Hi, my name is “NAME” and I use “he/him” or “her/she” or “They/ Them” pronouns. Let them know you are happy to meet them. You can then politely ask “How should I address you?”.
Now if you are a shopper and want to check out the Merch. Make sure you are prepared with some CASH. Yes, many are taking credit cards now. Yet, some people are still on the old cash only system. Need to pull some cash out of your bank? Just hope on over to Dicks Drive In for the Credit Union ATM OR you can run around to the corner of E Olive Way to US Bank.
Queer Bar Pride
Friday, June 22 nd – 4:00 PM – LATE NIGHT
1518 11 th Ave
Welcome to the New Queens on the Block, Queer Bar!
The formerly Purr Cocktail Lounge now Queer Bar is stepping up the game for Pride. Packing a full 3 Days of Entertainment!
This is new as of 2018, so really can not give you much insight other than it looks to be packed full of local Queens and Celebrity Queens. Many of the famous RuPaul Drag Queens are on the line up. For more Details, check out https://www.thequeerbar.com/pride-home/
Pride Fest: Capitol Hill
Saturday, June 23 rd – 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Now in its 5 th year, Pride Fest Capitol Hill is the locals Pride. Shutting down Broadway from Olive up to Roy Street. Packed with Vendors, Food and Entertainment Stages.
You can gather a lot of great free merchandise from all the local merchants trying to get your business or just show off what they do. Restaurants are open and you can catch many Drag Shows at differentstages up and down the entire street.
While the event starts at Noon, I would recommend waiting an hour or so. As we all know, most gays are running on drag time. We all love to show up fashionably late. This event is proof of it. If you hit the street at noon, it is very quiet with only a few people. Plus vendors are still setting up.
Part of the joy of this event is to just walk up and down, checking out all the interesting people, attire and shows. You will see everything from Performing Queens, Dancing Ferries and even Nudists. One of my favorite parts is the local food and the BEER GARDENS…. Yes, you can find beer and sometimes we all need it to handle the chaos of Pride.
Queer Geeks and Gamers
June 23 rd – 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
June 24 th – 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center
Last year was the start of the new Queer Geeks and Gamers. Located in the heart of the Seattle Center at the Fisher Pavilion. A great spot to duck out of the blazing sun and relax. They have everything from board games, console games, panels, comics, cosplay contest, exhibitors and more. Two of the best things about this set up….. FREE!!! Yeah, that is right… It is FREE!!!
Plus, they have a Beer Garden for those 21 and up. Oh yeah, the Beer is NOT Free… Sorry, but you gotta pay up for the goods.
June 24 th – 11:00 AM – 2:00(ish) PM
The start of it all… The reason Pride Events have become Festivals… The Pride Parade!
You must be ready and know what you are doing to enjoy the parade the right way. Experience has its benefits. Luckily, you have me to give you some insights!
First, if you want a good spot upfront on the curb, get there EARLY! And I do mean EARLY. This is like camping out for your favorite concert tickets. Every year, people put out couches and canopies the night before to save their spot and to have a comfy set up.
The parade will start at 4 th and Union, heading up 4 th Avenue. The parade can take a bit to get down to the other end of 4 th Avenue. So, bring something to keep yourself occupied. I personally recommend being towards the end of the parade. WHY? Because once the parade ends, everyone at the start will get up and walk to Seattle Center for the Pride Fest. Yet many are not considerate about the parade or those watching. They will walk down the street and pretty much take over the end of the parade.
If you are driving in the area. Pick a side! This parade is so long in length and time that you can literally be STUCK where you do not want to be stuck. If you can leave your car for the day, do it. Then walk to everything. So keep in mind if you want to go up to Capitol Hill, you need to park on the east side, 5 th Avenue or Greater. If you want to head to the water front or highway 99, park on the west side from 3 rd or lower. The police will be at every intersection on 4 th Avenue and they are strict. Even if you are a resident on 3 rd , 4 th or 5 th Avenue.
You can find multiple locations down 4 th Avenue that will have announcers. Often, they are Drag
Queens. If you ever been to a Drag Show, you know that Queens can be LOUD. So, keep that in mind as you pick your location to camp out and watch the Parade. If you are too close, you might have a headache by the end of the parade. Too far, you barely will be able to hear anything.
Also, remember to bring your Sunglasses, Sun Block and WATER… LOTS of WATER… Far too often people pass out from Heat Stroke or Dehydration. You can get supplies from the local stores, yet lines can be long, prices high and sometimes sold out.
June 24 th – 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
PrideFest 2018: Seattle Center
After the Parade, head over and check out the Festival. You will find some merchant vendors, lots and lots of food vendors. Literally, it is like going to the county fair. Heck, they even had Alligator at one stand. So, bring your appetite if you love Fair Food. In addition, there is lots of music coming from a couple different stages. Performances by Bands, Singers and Drag Queens. Not to mention the Hot GoGo Boys Dancing too!
One of the fun parts of Seattle Center is the Big Fountain. Many people will play in the water and strip down to almost nothing. Often you see people in underwear because they didn’t think to bring shorts or a suit. So, if you want to play in the water, plan ahead! Or wear cute underwear at least! We are tired of seeing the old nasty tightly whities.
The center can get rather crowded… Food will have lines, Bathrooms too. Just remember, the day is supposed to be fun. So if it gets to be too much, stop in and one of the beer gardens to cool of with a nice drink. Usually, my trick is to take the loop around the center to check out the merchants, see the people and then head out for food away from the Festival. More affordable away from the event and less lines.
The Cuff Street Party
1533 13 th Ave
This is the Party of All Parties! Truly the Finale of the Weekend!
The Cuff is a Leather/Kink Gay Bar that over the years has also become a Dance Club for ALL. Each year, they shut down 13 th Avenue from Pine to Pike and also use the large parking lot across the street. Beer Booths up and down the Street, plus you can get Drinks inside.
This is the party that will be PACKED and is only for those 21 and Up. And by packed, I do mean the entire street is nothing but people having a good time, listening to music and performers from the stage at the end of the street.
The biggest tip for this event… Get your Bracelets in the MORNING!! YES, the Morning!!! So that means getting you tired self from all the fun the night before, up and out of bed. They usually open the line around 9:00 AM or 10:00 AM, you will want to check their site in advance at
Bracelets will cost about $25 and the reason you want to go early. You typically wait about 20 minutes in the morning through the line for the bracelet. Then you head off to the Parade. When you return from the Parade, you are able to walk right through the gate showing your Bracelet. NO LINE. Or if there is a line, it is very small. If you wait till after the parade to get your bracelet, you will be waiting in a line that wraps around the entire block to the other side, about 3 hours or more!
Another good tip! Beer lines can be long… So, do not get a pitcher and glasses to share with friends. Get a pitcher and drink right from the pitcher. They always use short and wide plastic pitchers that have handles. You can easily put your hand around the pitcher under the handle and use it like a mug. This will save you from multiple tips to the beer line. Plus, BRING CASH.
The Street Party will be hot and going by 1:00 PM or 2:00 PM, then will slow down after 6:00 PM as people will have had a long day in the sun. Plus many work the next day. If you are smart, take that Monday OFF to recover!
Well folks, that is a lot of information about a fun filled Pride Weekend. Remember to be safe, drink in moderation, have LOTS of Water and Food. Plus plan your rides! Use Uber, Lyft or Walk.