Much of the Pride coverage we see is of the massive events that happen in big cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. However, LGBTQ+ people live all over the United States. Rural communities and suburbs from Maryland to Arizona have their own smaller, but just as important Pride celebrations that are worth checking out and supporting. Here are 12 incredible Pride events happening across the country from June to October.
Round Rock Pride (Round Rock, Texas)
Located about 20 miles outside of Austin, Round Rock is a quickly growing city of just under 120,000. Headquarters to Dell Technologies, this in-demand suburb of Austin will be celebrating its first-ever Pride event this June 4. Founded by Richard Parson, the Pride event will include a parade beginning in Centennial Plaza plus a festival to follow.
Mohave Pride (Kingman, Arizona)
Located along the famous Route 66 highway and about 50 miles outside of Las Vegas, this year’s Mohave Pride invites participants to glow…quite literally. Glow sticks and neon face and body paint are encouraged at this year’s festivities which kick off June 11 and includes a family-friendly festival and adults-only “Glow in the Dark” afterparty.
Woodstock PrideFest (Woodstock, Illinois)
This outer suburb of Chicago, Woodstock is known for its historic opera house and being the location for the film Groundhog Day. Woodstock Willie, the Midwest competitor to Punxsatauny Phil, was even a previous Grand Marshal for the Pride parade. The city’s Pride events begin with a festive color run on the morning of June 11 and continue the next day with a march and festival in Woodstock Square.
Queen City Pride (Manchester, New Hampshire)
Move over, Charlotte, NC; you aren’t the only Queen city out there! While Manchester has the largest population in northern New England, it’s still relatively small (only 115,000 as reported by the 2020 U.S. Census). However, small is mighty in this case, with a week of festivities beginning June 11. The main event happens at Arms Park Saturday, June 18, starting with a Pride parade leading to a festival boasting over 50 vendors, artists gallery, a beer garden and live entertainment.
Delmarva Pride (Easton, Maryland)
Congratulations to Delmarva Pride Center, celebrating its first Pride festival in Easton, MD. Easton is a city of around 17,000, located a few miles inland of the Chesapeake Bay. The Pride Center, which is also working to one day open a physical location to support the area’s LGBTQ+ population, has several events planned for June 17-19, including a charity brunch, free clinic and of course, a festival with over 50 vendors.
Polk Pride (Lakeland, Florida)
Following a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, Lakeland’s Polk Pride is back for 2022. LGBTQ+ youth and their families have been at the epicenter of the state’s aggressive “Don’t Say Gay” bill, so it’s fitting Polk Pride would offer up a safe space with their Pride for Youth event. This event is just one of many planned for the week of June 11-18 in this central Florida city. While Tampa and Orlando are within a 50-mile drive from Lakeland, Polk Pride offers up plenty to encourage the community to celebrate right in their own backyard.
Laramie PrideFest (Laramie, Wyoming)
It’s impossible to think about Laramie without thinking of the legacy of Matthew Shepard and his family. Shepard, who was killed in a hate crime in Oct. 1998, inspired activists worldwide to advocate for hate-crime legislation. Shepard’s parents, Judy and Dennis, have spent the last two decades advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. Laramie PrideFest has spent the last few years making Laramie a safer and more welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community and this June has a calendar full of Pride events like Pride Karaoke, meetups and a special candlelight vigil in honor of the 24th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death. The events culminate June 25 at the Pride in the Park celebration at Laramie’s Washington Park.
Upstate Black Pride (Greenville, South Carolina)
Greenville is a rapidly growing small city located in the Upstate of SC, attracting new residents with its charm, location and employment opportunities. Formed in 2008, Upstate Pride has been working to provide a safe place for the LGBTQ+ community in an area where few options were recently available. In addition to having a Pride event in Oct., Upstate Pride puts on the Black Pride Unity March and Festival June 25 in the heart of downtown Greenville. A week of events preceding include a 5K run, affirming faith services and networking events at queer-owned and queer-welcoming spaces.
Great Lakes Bay Pride (Bay City, Michigan)
If you aren’t sure where Bay City is, just hold up your hand and point right to the center of your palm. (That’s how we Michiganders show where we come from.) After two years of Covid-19-related cancellations, Great Lakes Bay Pride is back with a family-friendly festival on the riverfront. A drag show and after-party will follow in Bay City’s sister city, Saginaw, located 14 miles Southwest.
Montana Pride (Helena, Montana)
As capital cities go, Helena is one of the smallest by population clocking in at around 32,000. However, what Helena lacks in size it makes up for in community spirit. Beginning July 17, Montana Pride packs over a dozen events into a weeklong Pride celebration including an LGBTQ+ yoga class, poetry slam, cabaret and a game night for all ages. Saturday, July 23 is the annual parade and festival, morphing into a dance party starting at 7 p.m., called Once More with Glitz.
Chillicothe Pride (Chillicothe, Ohio)
This small southern Ohio city, which was the original capital of the state, is celebrating its second ever Pride Aug. 20. Sponsored by the First Capital Pride Coalition, the city of fewer than 25,000 will start its event with a Pride walk to the courthouse, followed by an afternoon of speeches, entertainment, food trucks and vendors. All ages are welcome at this free event. If you are looking for events to participate in this June, FCPC offers weekly events First Fridays, the Friends of Dorothy Book Club, support groups for transgender community members, LGBTQ+ youth and parents and caregivers.
Druid City Pride (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
Did you know Tuscaloosa’s nickname is Druid City? Look around this west-central Alabama city and you’ll see references to the Celtic worshippers on everything from breweries to music venues. Like many other Southern cities, Druid City Pride is held in the fall (Oct. 2) when the temperatures are more hospitable for outdoor celebrations. Druid City’s event will be hosted by Good Morning Alabama’s Stoney Sharp and include a live performance by comedian Matteo Lane. Families with children are welcome and pet-friendly areas will also be provided.
Is your small town or city having a Pride celebration you want us to know about? Message us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.