LGBTQ travelers generally have a bevy of Pride destination to choose from in June, but one event stands out from the fray every few years: WorldPride. This annual celebration of all things queer, World Pride began in Rome in 2000 with an estimated crowd of a quarter-million people.
Subsequent iterations of the event have been held in Jerusalem (2006), London (2012), Toronto (2014), and Madrid (2017). New York City is hosting the event this year from June 26-30, the first time a U.S. city has done so. Combining the event with the 50thanniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this event is sure to be a memorable time for all attendees. The city expects between 3 and 4 million attendees at WorldPride events.
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NYC & Company has announced that it is facilitating rainbow lightings across all five boroughs—a first for the organization—in celebration of the queer community and WorldPride. Throughout the month of June, the organization says approximately 4 million visitors will witness this expression of LGBTQ+ representation and acceptance across the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
The five-borough lighting is part of NYC & Company’s larger destination marketing initiative, Project Rainbow. This effort empowers member businesses to unify their branding in celebration of WorldPride in solidarity with all that it represents. Attractions, bus tour operators, cultural organizations, entertainment entities, hotels, restaurants, and transportation providers have received creative assets to include on consumer-facing materials, as well as recommendations on how to show support.
NYC Pride and WorldPride will come together for the Stonewall 50 March on Sunday, June 30 from Noon until 10:00 p.m. The first March was held in 1970 and has since become an annual civil rights demonstration. Last year’s parade featured more than 550 marching groups and more than 100 floats—and this year is expected to be even larger.
Parties & Events
The star-studded opening ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26 at Barclays Center, and will be hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. Performances include Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Chaka Khan, Ciara, Daya and Todrick Hall. The closing ceremonies will be held on Sunday, June 30 in Times Square, with host Margaret Cho and performers such as Melissa Etheridge, Jake Shears, MNEK, and Deborah Cox.
Between those two events, attendees can choose from dozens of other events, night and day. Pride Island is a multi-day live music festival featuring acts from Madonna to Grace Jones. There’s also a family movie night, a cosplay evening, OutCinema, a Human Rights Conference, a Pride luminaries brunch, Youth Pride, VIP rooftop parties, street festivals, circuit parties, a mural project and much more.
Brian Stoudemire, Lead Business Analyst for Jones Lang LaSalle in Chicago said he’s never been to WorldPride but will be attending this year with his partner—as well as meeting a few friends there. While in New York, they intend to attend the WE party on Saturday evening and the parade on Sunday.
“I decided to attend because it’s an opportunity for me to celebrate pride with the world in my own backyard,” said Stoudemire. “I am most excited about meeting new people from across the globe. We love making new connections; you never know what those connections could lead to.”