As the saying goes: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” about New York City. Well, the City That Never Sleeps was awake and lit up for the entire month of June by making Pride month bigger and better than ever before. NYC Pride 2018, the largest in North America, was a culmination of 30 days of celebrations, events, concerts, rainbows, and a whole lot of love. If one city knows how to embrace their LGBT community and usher in Pride month, it’s New York City.
Much like LA Pride before it, this year NYC Pride theme highlighted female talent – from the Grand Marshals to the headline performer Tove Lo and Kylie Minogue. NYC Pride was a month-long celebration with events held throughout the month of June, including the annual Dyke March, Youth Pride, The Rally, and the official pride festival: Pride Island. As the Big Apple prepares to host World Pride in 2019, New York switched up some of the original plans to try a few things new, with the theme Defiantly Different.
Located on a different pier, Saturday and Sunday’s big event was Pride Island, where thousands of people gathered for a full two days packed full of incredible entertainment. Tove Lo headlined Saturday with featured performances by RuPaul’s Drag Race star Sasha Velour, Big Freedia, Lizzo, and DJ sets by Simon Dunmore and DJ Dawson. It was cold day at pier 97 in NYC’s new gayborhood, Hell’s Kitchen, that was warmed up by all the amazing acts above.
Sunday after the parade, the weather again turned cool and overcast as DJ Grind, Ralphi Rosario, and Corey Craig did sets that kept everyone dancing and happy at pier 97.
The highlight of the entire weekend long festival was international goddess of pop Kylie Minogue taking the stage as the headlining act.The rain didn’t stop the thousands of Kylie fans who came out to see her perform as part of her Golden tour. Kylie slayed with an epic hour-long set of 12 of her biggest hits, and one of the gayest things ever witnessed was Kylie’s performance of her new single Raining Glitter as the rain poured down on the very overly-glittered up crowd.
Sunday saw a reported 2 million people line the streets of Manhattan to participate in the annual NYC Pride March. The NYC Pride March included the Mayor of New York City, senators and representatives of Congress, LGBT advocates, out athletes like Gus Kenworthy, corporate allies, sponsors, LGBT groups, local not-for-profit, and local businesses.
It was a colorful display that attracted the biggest crowds to ever attend NYC Pride parade. The newly re-routed parade trended on Twitter and was broadcast live as the March wound its way through the streets of central Manhattan, including passing by the historic Stonewall National Monument. Grand Marshals of the 49thannual pride parade were: Lambda Legal, Tyler Ford, Kenita Placide, and Tennis legend Billie Jean King.
Meanwhile, the entire city had rainbow flags hanging from buildings on every block. Bars, clubs, restaurants, and businesses hosted events and had special offers. Places like Boxers NYC and Flaming Saddles, popular NYC HK hot-spots were always busy with no long line-ups: just great music and lots of fun.
Matinee Pride returned with 3 spectacular, sold-out circuit events that included sets by DJs Phil Romano, Nina Flowers, Dan Slater, Paulo, and Danny Verde. Other fun Pride events included OutCinema, Cosplay & Pride, and Savor Pride. All of New York was celebrating pride as the iconic Empire State building and numerous other skyscrapers in the city lit up the nights with the rainbow flag colors.
NYC always knows how to throw a good party. The 49th Pride parade, festival, Kylie, events, and celebrations showed the world that there is still a lot of love out there. NYC Pride 2018 will definitely go down as one for the books. Be ready for the Big Apple to blow our socks off next year, as New York City hosts World Pride 2019.
See more photos from NYC Pride: