Celebrate Pride Month at these 8 DC events

Gather your brightest colors and embrace the celebration as the nation’s capital shows off its pride this June.

Photo by Peter Hershey

Pride Month consists of a variety of festivals and celebrations that bring together people of all cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. While the designation of June originated to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred 50 years ago this year, it has since become a time to recognize the impact that the LGBTQ community has in the world.

Just across the bridge in DC, people from all around the world are coming together for a week full of banquets, festivals and so much more.

The Capital Pride Honors
Friday, May 31, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Formerly known as the Heroes Gala, this annual evening of celebration is a one-of-a-kind reception held at the Luce Foundation Center within the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Esteemed individuals, ranging from a nonprofit founder to an immigration attorney, will be acknowledged for their contributions to the advancement of the LGTBQ community. Guests will enjoy culinary tasting stations, complimentary cocktails and admission to the Countdown! Pride Celebration Kick-Off Party that follows the reception. // Smithsonian American Art Museum: 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC; $60-$75

Celebration Week
May 31-June 11
This year’s celebration week consists of nine unique events that bring people together in various ways. Whether you’re nine or 90, there’s a way for you to show your pride. Below, we highlight our top picks.

Outspoken: Women’s Spoken Word and Other Queer Expressions
Monday, June 3, 7:30 p.m.
Start this week with some inspiration at Busboys and Poets as individuals of varying identities share personal stories through spoken word performances. In addition, audience members will enjoy open mic performers, special performances from local stars and an exclusive drag show that is sure to entertain. // Busboys and Poets: 625 Monroe St. NE, Washington, DC; free

Celebrate Pride Month in Alexandria at these 7 events

Riot! The Pride Opening Party
Friday, June 7, 9 p.m.-3:30 a.m.
To honor the 50th anniversary of a riot that sparked an equal rights revolution, it’s time to dance, cheer and be true to yourself at this community riot hosted at Echostage. The event features RuPaul Drag Race’s very own Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, signature DJs and performances by some of the LGTBQ community’s greatest stars. // Echostage: 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, Washington, DC; $20-$35

Capital Pride Parade
June 8, 4:30-8 p.m.
Travel into the District to be a part of one of the largest Pride parades in the country. Join tens of thousands of spectators along the parade route and block party as the parade celebrates expression and the community’s history. // Dupont & Logan Circles NW, Washington, DC; free

Capital Pride Festival
Sunday, June 9, Noon-10 p.m.
Be part of history, as thousands of people in the LGTBQ community from across the country come out to historic Pennsylvania Avenue for the annual Capital Pride Festival. With three stages of national and local talent, over 300 exhibitors, hundreds of organizations and so much more, the day will be full of excitement you won’t want to miss. // Pennsylvania Ave. & 3rd St. NW, Washington, DC; free

Capital Pride Concert & Sunset Dance Party
Sunday, June 9, 1-8 p.m. and 8-10 p.m., respectively
Finish off the week with one of the largest annual events in the DC region. Attended by more than 400,000 individuals of varying backgrounds and personalities, this year’s concert headlines, which will be spread across three stages, include Marshmello, Shea Diamond, Calum Scott, Zara Larsson and more. // Pennsylvania Avenue & 3rd St. NW, Washington, DC; free, VIP packages available

Illegal to be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall
June 21 through Spring 2020
For the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the National Museum of American History will showcase artifacts from the pivotal event. // The National Museum of American History: 1300 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC; free

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