Newark is the largest city in New Jersey, but it's greatly overlooked by tourists as well as the GLBT community because of its close proximity to New York City, and because its fortunes plummeted during the second half of the 20th century, even far more so than many other cities in the Northeast. It has begun staging a bit of a comeback in recent years, and the population actually grew slightly (1.3%) in the most recent census (it's now at 280,000), reversing a downward trend dating back to the 1930s.
The gay scene in Newark and surrounding Essex County remains minuscule for a metro area its size, but slowly, this too is changing, for the past seven years, the region has celebrated Newark Gay Pride. The event takes place in mid-July.
Events at Newark Pride
Events at Newark Pride kick off Thursday, July 13th, with a Pride Week Official Launch and continue with several fun gatherings throughout the week - a film screening, youth game show, 5K run, weekend cookout, Saturday-night dance party, and more.
On Sunday, July 16th, the big event takes place: Pride Day in the Park runs from 1 until 8 pm in the city's Washington Park (at Broad St. and Washington St.), beginning with a Community Church Service, continuing with the Newark Gay Pride Parade at 1 pm, and then moving on to the Newark Pride Festival, which traditionally begins at 1 and features musicians and entertainers throughout the day.
The official host hotel of Newark Gay Pride is the city's trendy Hotel Indigo Newark Downtown, which occupies a smartly revamped 1912 building and is offering special rates during Pride. Just use the code NGP when you call (877-385-5766).
Newark Gay Travel Resources
For more information on the Newark gay scene (and that of the surrounding area, check out OutinJersey.net). Also take a look at the LGBT visitor site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau.