Through June 15
Pennsylvania’s premier LGBT community festival is setting up shop Downtown and points beyond, with PRIDE festivities spanning four days and even more neighborhoods.
This year, there is even more to celebrate in Pittsburgh and Western PA: On May 20th, Pennsylvania became the latest US state to champion same-sex marriage, when federal Judge John E. Jones III ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. Allegheny County married its first same-sex couples in late May. And on June 1st, The New York Times‘ Travel section recommended the Burgh as a gay destination worth visiting, and this week, LGBT events and activities will take center stage through June 15th.
With an exclusive pool party atop Mt. Washington, a chauffeured tour of the Burgh’s hippest clubs, bars and lounges, and a signature parade through the streets of Downtown—not to mention a street festival concert featuring the one and only Queen of Funk Chaka Khan—this year’s Pittsburgh Pride is shaping up to be 100,000 people strong.
Presented by the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh, the annual Pittsburgh Pride features inclusive, diverse and rich events and experiences for the public. Reflecting this year’s theme of “Be Brave,” the community celebration here is part of a global movement to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York City and are recognized as the start of the Human Rights movement. Christine Bryan, with the Delta Foundation, says that they are already seeing record numbers of ticket sales for Chaka Khan, march participants and PrideFest vendors, and that the event is expected to draw 100,000 people over the weekend.
Through June 12th, TransPride will host a series of trans-positive events representing the community in a progressive fashion within safe and supportive spaces for all gender identities and expressions.
On Tuesday, June 10th at 6 p.m., Maureen B. Cohon, Esq. and Elizabeth Poggi, Esq. from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, PC, along with Robert Lepre, senior vice president from Fifth Third Bank, will lead the free session, Legal & Financial Planning for Gay and Lesbian Couples, at WQED Multimedia in Oakland (RSVP is required).
Ready to make a splash? Snag tickets now (space is limited and this splash bash will sell out!), don your snazziest swimwear and head up to scenic Mt. Washington to the home of Steven Herforth and Peter Karlovich for Pride’s annual pool party. Set for June 12th at 7 p.m., this exclusive soiree will showcase the Burgh’s dramatic skyline from one of the city’s most talked about homes.
If making the rounds is more your scene, crawl your way throughout some of the city’s coolest clubs, bars and lounges on Friday, June 13th. Boasting something free at each stop, this chauffeured tour will make its way from Blue Moon in Lawrenceville to There Ultra Lounge Downtown, with many hot spots along the way. Buses will drop off and pick up approximately every 20 minutes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Don’t forget to turn in your ticket to receive a coupon book.
Headlining Pride in the Street on Saturday, June 14th, is 10-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan, who will bring her dazzling live band, dancers and singers to the 10th Street Stage Downtown. With a powerhouse career spanning four decades, including getting her start as frontwoman for the funk band Rufus, the Queen of Funk, Khan has sold 70 million records worldwide, and endures as an iconic singer-songwriter, producer, author, actor, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist. She is currently working on a new album, iKhan, slated for release in 2014.
Joining Khan for Pride in the Street will be the Canadian reggae fusion band, Magic!, which features acclaimed songwriter and record producer Nasri, on lead vocals, along with Mark Pellizzer, Alex Tanas and Ben Spivak. The group’s debut hit single, “Rude,” currently holds the #3 spot on iTunes, the #8 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and has over 16 million views on YouTube. Their debut album, Don’t Kill the Magic, is slated for release on July 1st, and the band is featured on Shakira’s song, “Cut Me Deep,” released in March 2014. Also on the bill opening for Chaka Khan will be Vita Chambers, Ayah Marar and Lazaro Arbos, as well as local drag performer Jezebel.
Show your pride on Sunday, June 15th, at the sure-to-be-festive Pride March. Led by Dykes on Bikes, this year’s parade will consist of a caravan of LGBT organizations, community groups, corporations and politicians. The march begins at the corner of Grant Street and Blvd. of the Allies and winds its way through Downtown. The signature march culminates at PrideFest, a free street festival taking place along Liberty Avenue, from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday’s festivities will include 150-plus vendors, children’s activities, live performances, food booths and a beer garden. The day-long entertainment on two stages will feature dance troupes, drag queens and kings, alternative rock group Betty, gay country singer-songwriter Steve Grand, and much more.
View a complete list of 2014 Pittsburgh Pride events, including information about registration and tickets.
For those looking for more underground and after-hours events taking place during Pride Week in Pittsburgh, check out our preview of Totally Verse Pride Weekend.