Annually following the June 1969 Stonewall Rebellion members of the LGBT community and their allies have come together in NYC together to express themselves in a number of forms. Since 1984 Heritage of Pride (HOP) has been the organizer for the official NYC Pride events.
On June 19th the NYC Pride Rally, where Pride starts, will welcome its guests to Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield where it will make its debut as part of SummerStage’s 2010 scheduled events. This year’s committee has planned an amazing line up to go along with its new home.
This year’s co-hosts are comedians, Bruce Vilanch and Vickie Shaw. Performers include Martha Wash, Meshell Ndegeocello, the Cast of Hair, the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, Ian Harvie, and many more. Speakers include Lt. Dan Choi, Catherine Marino-Thomas, and Kevin Frost. To catch these talented and exception people be sure to get to SummerStage early, doors open at 3:00pm and the show runs from 4:00-8:00pm. To get to Rumsey Playfield enter Central Park on 5th Avenue at 69th or 72nd St, it’s between the two entrances . This is a free event so there’s no reason to miss it!
For women looking for something to do during “Pride Weekend” (the weekend of the March, Pier Dances, and PrideFest) be sure to check out the 7th Annual Rapture on the River, Women’s Dance. The dance is held on Pier 54, where 13th St. and the West Side Highway meet. On June 26th from 6:00-11:00pm Susan Morabito (NYC) will keep the party going. Don’t regret not attending one of the best women’s parties in the U.S. Tickets can be purchased in the HOP office (154 Christopher St. #1D, NY, NY 10014) or at BoxOfficeTickets. Get ’em quick to save yourself a few bucks for drinks, advanced tickets are $25 and day of tickets will run you $35. A limited number of VIP Combo tickets are available for $45 (these include one free drink ticket, access to the VIP Lounge at Rapture, and admission to Pier Pressure 11, the official Rapture after-party).
So you’ve made it to June 27th and you are ready to hit the town. The first event to start this busy day is PrideFest, allowing guests to enjoy the street festival and StageFest (performance stage) from 11:00-7:00pm. PrideFest in held on Hudson St. between Abingdon Sq. & West 14th St. This year PrideFest will be adding a PetPride competition to its activities for the day. Emcees for StageFest are Hedda Lettuce, Vanessa Valtre, and Kiara Monteiro. Check out the stage as you stroll through the festival to catch Antigone Rising, London Bridgez, Justin Utley, Switch N’ Play, and others. This is a free event, but be sure to bring some spending money for food and souvenirs from the vendors.
If it’s Noon on Sunday June 27th you definitely want to be somewhere along the march (commonly referred to as a “Parade”) route to join over a million other spectators for the start of one of the Largest Gay Pride marches in the world. The NYC Pride March was affected by the City’s shortening of all marches and parades. This means the march route has been shortened and Step-off is has changed to 36th St and 5th. The 2010 Grand Marshals are Lt. Dan Choi, Judy Shepard, and Constance McMillen. Another change is the addition to a second moment of silence. In the past there has been a moment (minute) of silence at 2:00pm to remember those lost to AIDS. This year there will be TWO moments of silence, one at 1:00pm and a second moment of silence at 3:00pm.
Check the march out early, get your 2010 Pride T-shirt at PrideFest and then head over to the Pier Dance. The dance is held on Pier 54, where 13th St. and the West Side Highway meet.The 24th Annual Pier Dance is guaranteed to be a celebration to startyour night off right. The party starts at 4:30pm with DJ Steven Oliveri and continues with the Freemasons (Loaded UK). The festivities draw to a close with a firework show at 10:30pm. Tickets are available now. You can get yours for $50 until May 31st when they go up to $75, and if you’re the last minute type you will end up shelling out $100 at the door. A VIP pass will cost you $150. You can get your tickets at BoxOfficeTickets, the HOP office or select retailers around Manhattan.
A lot has changed, but change is good. The things to remember:
- The Rally is hosted on a Saturday (6/19) at Central Park’s SummerStage from 4:00-8:00pm
- PrideFest has added PetPride to their activities for the day
- The March will Step-off at 36th St & 5th Ave
- The March route is changing (see above)
- The March will have two moments of silence (1:00 & 3:00pm)
Pride is only 25 days away so get your rest now and if you have any questions or looking to get involved you should contact the folks over at HOP. Pride Guides will be hitting the streets of NYC and the HOP office in the coming days so make sure you get your copy.