Seattle Gay Pride 2016 - Seattle Pridefest 2016

Celebrating Gay Pride in the Emerald City

Nighttime view of the Seattle skyline, with the Space Needle featured prominently
Jon Hicks / Getty Images

The Pacific Northwest's largest city and a longtime center of LGBT activism celebrates Gay Pride in a big way each June, with a series of related events throughout the city that culminate on Sunday, June 26, 2016, with the Seattle Gay Pride Parade, which drew more than 350,000 people last year, and the annual Seattle Pridefest, a free event at Seattle Center that draws more than 135,000 participants.

Seattle's Pride celebrations take place just  a week after Capital City Pride in Olympia and Portland Gay Pride (just down I-5 in Oregon).and two weeks after Spokane Gay Pride in the eastern part of the state. Other notable Pride celebrations around the area include Bellingham Gay Pride and Tacoma Gay Pride, which both take place in mid-July, 

Quite a few Pride-related events take place during the days leading up to the big Pride weekend. Check the Seattle Pride Events page and Seattle PrideFest Schedule page for details. And mark your calendar for Friday, June 24, when TransPride Seattle is held, and Saturday, June 25, which is tentatively when the Seattle Dyke March is slated to take place - it's typically held from 5 until 7 pm at the Seattle Central Community College Plaza (Broadway Ave. E at E. Pine St.).

Note that the organizers of Seattle Pride have produced an impressive Seattle Pride Guide, which you can view online here, complete with details about events and plenty of other useful and entertaining information about the LGBT scene in the city. It's definitely worth checking out.

Another must-attend event throughout the weekend (on both Saturday, June 25, from 10 am to 11 pm and Sunday, June 26, from 10 am until 7 pm) is the Seattle Capitol Hill Pride Festival March & Rally, a massive community event right in the heart of the city's main GLBT neighborhood, on a six-block stretch of Broadway. It features food, music and entertainment (from DJs to bands) on multiple stages, a block party, a Paint For Pride Artwalk along Broadway, a Doggie Drag Costume Contest, and more than 100 vendors from local businesses and organizations. This big celebration drew more than 25,000 participants last year.

One other fun event Saturday, June 25, is the Seattle PrideFest Family Day, held from noon until 8 in Capitol Hill's lovely Cal Anderson Park, and including an "Adult Fun Time" street party at 11th and Pine throughout the day, with drag fun, live music, food trucks, and more.

The Official Seattle Pride Parade is held the following day, on Sunday, June 26, and begins at 11 am at the corner of Union Street and 4th Avenue. It lasts until around 1:30 pm and runs north along 4th Avenue to Denny Way. Here's a map of the parade route. Prior to the parade, at 9 am, there's a Pride Brunch.

Sunday's other big event is Seattle Pridefest at the Seattle Center, which takes place from noon until 8 pm in the shadows of the iconic Space Needle and always features a great mix of top-name entertainers, plus a DJ stage, a Mural Stage, and an Acoustic Stage. Billing itself the "largest free Pride festival in America," this one attracts some pretty huge crowds.

Seattle Gay Resources

This is a great time to be in Seattle, as countless gay bars as well as many restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Check local gay papers, such as Seattle Gay Times and the Seattle Lesbian for details. Another great asset is the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), the city's LGBT chamber of commerce, which produces a handy directory of businesses in the city's gay and lesbian community. Also take a look at the very useful GLBT site produced by the city's official tourism organization, Visit Seattle.

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