Portland Pride Waterfront Festival Guide 2018

What You Need to Know About the Major Pride Events in the Northwest

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••• The Northwest Pride Festival takes place in Portland, Oregon's leafy Tom McCall Waterfront Park each year in June. photo by Andrew Collins

Few cities the size of Portland have a more progressive and active LGBTQ community. Lesbians and gays in Portland tend to live, work, and play all around the city, but come June, LGBTQ folks from all over the city and the surrounding region descend upon downtown Portland to celebrate the Portland Pride Waterfont Festival together.

Portland Pride Waterfront Festival

Sometimes referred to as Pride Northwest, this annual celebration is a first-rate event, and is one of the largest donation-based Pride celebrations in the country.

This event occurs in beautiful Tom McCall Waterfront Park, that overlooks the Willamette River. This year, it will take place on June 16th and 17th, one week after the Astoria Oregon Gay Pride event.

There are two main events that make up Portland Pride (and quite a few events and parties, including the traditional Stark Street Pride Block Party at Scandals Gay Bar, and a special Flare Pride Kickoff Party sponsored by the city's premier lifestyle and arts magazine, Portland Monthly.

There's plenty of entertainment throughout the festival, particularly on Saturday night, from a number of top performers including Prince Poppycock of America's Got Talent, comedian Deven Green, American Idol's Frenchie Davis, and Mimi Imfurst of RuPaul's Drag Race. There is also a large amount of food and crafts vendors like the local winemakers Hip Chicks Do Wine, who produce special Pride labels for three of their wines, as well as the outstanding Bend- and Portland-based Deschutes Brewery.

Saturday events also include Portland Trans Pride Rally and March, the Portland Dyke March, the women's and trans Portland Pride Inferno Dance, and the Portland Pride Gaylabration at Crystal Ballroom. On Sunday, the parade begins at 11 a.m. at Burnside and Park Avenue, and runs east along the edge of the Pearl District before turning north up Broadway, then east along Davis Street through Old Town/Chinatown, and then turning south down along Naito Parkway.

The parade eventually leads into Tom McCall Waterfont Park, and the weekend then comes to a close.

However, the fun doesn't stop when the park events are over, as many of the attendees flock to Portland's gay bars to continue to eat, drink, dance, and be merry during the weekend.

Portland Latino Gay Pride

Portland's fast-growing LGBTQ Latino community hosts a fun and inclusive Portland Latino Gay Pride in late August. The events include a spoken word reading, as well as a series of film screenings, and the Tus Colores Festival that features live performances, food, ballet folklorico, and more.

Vancouver, Washington Saturday in the Park Pride

Just across the Columbia River from Portland, in the city of Vancouver, WA, which holds an annual Pride event called Saturday in the Park Pride in early July.

This free celebration takes place in Esther Short Park. right in the heart of the city's up-and-coming downtown. The event includes live entertainment, local vendors selling their creations, and organizations promoting their important messages and goals, as well as a few more fun activities.