Buffalo Gay Pride 2016

The gay pride celebration of western New York

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photo by Andrew Collins

The second-largest city in New York, with a population of 260,000, Buffalo actually has more in common with other industrial cities of the Great Lakes than with East Coast cities. Declining industry and population (580,000 people lived here at the city's peak, in 1950) has led to relatively tough times for this city on Lake Erie, a short drive from Niagara Falls (and just 100 miles from Toronto, and about an hour's drive from Hamilton, Ontario). Buffalo does abound with culture, and several neighborhoods have undergone a gentrification in recent years, in some cases partly spurred by GLBT residents - the Delaware District and Elmwood Village both come to mind.

And the city has a good-size Buffalo Gay Pride celebration, held in early June. The dates this year are May 31 through June 5, 2016.

Events (you can view a full Buffalo Pride schedule here) kick off on Tuesday, May 31, with a Pride-flag raising ceremony at City Hall in Niagara Square. On Saturday, June 4, you can attend Dyke March in the afternoon, and the Momentum Party, at the Canalside festival grounds, from 8 until 10:30 pm.

On Sunday, June 5, from noon until 7 pm, the big event is the Buffalo Pride Parade and Festival, with the parade commencing at noon along Elmwood Avenue (at Lafayette). Then the Pride Festival takes place at historic Erie Canal Harbor (at Canalside), which is along the waterfront - a beautiful spot for the celebration. There's a marketplace at the festival, and entertainers (R&B singer-songwriter Deborah Cox is headlining this year), plus several DJs. More than 25,000 are expected to attend this year.

Buffalo Gay Resources

Also note that a number of bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Weekend. Check Outcome, Buffalo's gay newspaper, as well as BuffaloGayBars.com, for more on the city's gay scene. Also take a look at the excellent gay and lesbian travel site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau - this is one of the better GLBT sites created by a tourism office out there, with a comprehensive listing of gay-popular nightlife, restaurants, accommodations, and more.