A couple of weeks ago, being fully vaccinated, I decided to venture back into New York City for some social activities. It had been over a year and a few months since the COVID shutdown and I didn’t know what to expect as the city slowly began to reopen her curtain up to the world. And with N.Y.C. Pride 2021 quickly emerging on the calendar, I wondered too, what, if any Pride festivities there would be this year. Pride celebrations were canceled across the country in 2020.
Well, I wonder no more because New York is back, baby, and though there will be some COVID restrictions still in place, the in-person PrideFest is back too! Pridefest will once again transform Greenwich Village into a vibrant, outdoor extravaganza featuring food craft vendors, musicians, entertainers, and local residents as part of the highly anticipated Pride Week street fair. The famous Pride March will be a virtual event this year.
With the city buzzing again, many of you are making plans to come to The Big Apple to celebrate and perhaps could use a few recommendations on where to go, what to see, where to eat, shop, sleep and play. So, I thought I’d share a few fabulous must-see and dos for you to consider as you map out those arrangements to come get yo’ life at N.Y.C. Pride 2021!
WHERE TO STAY … BEFORE YOU SLAY
For out-of-towners and locals seeking LGBTQIA-welcoming accommodations during Pride, how about a stylish, affordable N.Y.C. hotel, in the heart of the city? Sound good? WelI, then I suggest you consider the fabulous INNSiDE by Meliá New York.
INNSiDE by Meliá New York is Meliá Hotels International’s first property in New York City and first INNSiDE by Meliá hotel in North America.
As you know, lots of businesses go for the gay dollars during Pride month, but when it comes to hotels, I prefer to stay at T.A.G. Approved® properties for my money. INNSiDE by Meliá New York is a proud member of the T.A.G. — an organization that ensures welcoming accommodations and qualification of hotels with outstanding employment policies, services, and support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
INNSide by Meliá’ New York’s 313 spacious guest rooms boast bright and contemporary interiors, combining luxury and comfort. Select rooms offer terraces with views of Midtown, The Freedom Tower, and the downtown Manhattan skyline. For libation and delicious bites, Their new signature restaurant, The Wilson, is not to be missed. Its all-day seafood and hand-crafted cocktail menu embodies a “town-by-the-sea” vibe. It makes perfect sense; I mean, Manhattan is an island, after all!
With its prime Chelsea location on 27th Street b/w 6th & 7th Avenues, the hotel allows guests easy access to the city’s major tourist & cultural attractions — a perfect home base for N.Y.C. Pride participants and spectators.
Most importantly, as an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, the INNSide warmly welcomes us not just during Pride Month, but 365 days a year!
THE VIRTUAL MARCH – June 27th, 12:00 pm
The first March was held in 1970 and has since become an annual civil rights demonstration. Over the years, it’s purpose has broadened to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those we have lost to illness, violence and neglect. This years Grand Marshals: Wilson Cruz, Ceyenne Doroshow, Menaka Guruswamy, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis and Aaron Rose Philip
ABC7ny.com will feature live performances, celebrity interviews, and special guest Pride appearances on air from 12 pm – 3 pm.
PARTY IT UP PRIDEFEST – June 27th, 11:00 am, All day event
Every year thousands of LGBTQIA + people, family members, and allies from all over come together for PrideFest, one of the premier festival events of the summer. PrideFest is the perfect place to stop and listen to a few tunes, grab a bite to eat, or score some great Pride gear. It’s open to the public and FREE to enter! Pridefest delights all the senses and is an event not to be missed! (Protocols will be in place to ensure a safe space in the wake of COVID)
L.G.B.T.I.A. THEMED EXHIBITS
Visit Safe/Haven: Gay Life in 1950s Cherry Grove,” — a free exhibition that examines the thriving gay and lesbian community in Cherry Grove, Fire Island, N.Y. that emerged in the 1940s. The exhibition features photographs and additional content from the Cherry Grove Archives Collection. (Now through October 2011)
LGBTQIA-THEMED ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT, June 18/20
Opera can be pretty gay — and I mean that in a good way. Who doesn’t love exaggerated costumes, vocal divas, and dramatic themes. Sounds like just another night out with the girls. But for those of you looking for drama of the staged music type, check out the New York City Opera in Bryant Park on June 18 for a Pride-themed evening concert featuring pieces from opera and musical theater. Also featured will be the reworked finale of the operatic “Stonewall” (Iain Bell and Mark Campbell), which premiered in 2019 as a City Opera commission.
On June 20, the Alice Austen House Museum on Staten Island will present a free performance of music and Dance by L’unicorns, a Latinx L.G.B.T.Q. group. On view at the museum is “Radical Tenderness: Trans for Trans Portraiture,” an exhibition of photographic works from four trans and nonbinary artists.
DANCE DANCE DANCE!
Welcome Back (Sorta Kinda) To Pride Island
Welcome to the reimagined, legendary Pride Island brought to you by N.Y.C. Pride! This highly anticipated event returns this year with a twist — a hybrid format so you can ‘Dance Through the Decades.’ Celebrate 35 years of dancing, freedom, and open sexual expression in the modified Pride Island Format. Legendary trans-DJ Lina Bradford and hunky veteran DJ Joe Gauthreau will turn out the beats during this new, inclusive evolution of Pride Island.
Pride Island remains the central programming hub for the LGBTQIA+ community giving you the option this year of celebrating Pride from wherever you and your friends wish to twirl in those cha-cha heels! Pride Island serves as a fundraiser to help N.Y.C. Pride raise crucial funds to help produce many free events such as our Youth Pride, Family Movie Night. Learn more.
PRIDE ISLAND – June 27 6:00 pm
The Circuit Is Back! Alegria Pride 2021 -August, 1
All you shirtless boys and dancing queens (often the same) get those water bottles ready as ALEGRIA PRIDE 2021 takes over the Avant Gardner with W.O.W.! This Pride event takes place later in the summer, on August 1, so mark your calendars.
The Alegria Outdoor “W.O.W.” spectacular will occur at the Brooklyn Mirage – an 18,000 sq. ft outdoor festival complex with State-of-the-art sound and lighting. This year’s beats will be served by D.J.’s Enrico Meloni, Mauro Mozart, and sexy Tom “Superchumbo” Stephan. In Kings Hall, the VIVA Room, music maestros DJ Aaron Aanenson and Jesus Montanez will be keeping it lit!
THE RETURN OF YOUTH PRIDE! – June 26th, 3:00 pm
Some of the most vulnerable in the LGBTQIA community is the gay youth. That’s what makes Youth Pride such a special and transformative celebration for LGBTQIA+ and ally teens. This year’s virtual gathering experience is made possible by youth-focused L.G.B.T. centers, organizations, and programs nationwide.
The 2021 program follows 2019’s unforgettable event at which 10,000+ LGBTQIA+ teens came together for a day of performances, appearances, activations, and dancing at Central Park’s Summerstage. Welcome back, Youth Pride!
Shop With A Mission & Support Queer-owned Businesses / Special Pride Promotions Throughout June!
Innovative and unconventional retail curators, Showfields NY, has partnered with N.Y.C. Pride to kick off their “Show Up, Show Out” campaign presented by MasterCard. Through this campaign, Showfields is launching a pop-activation featuring seven queer-owned businesses (listed below), providing them a platform/retail space to sell their products and raise awareness for their brands.
Showfields will encourage onsite consumers to donate to the Hendrick Martin Institute, an organization that provides community, basic needs, health, education, and career services to thousands of L.G.B.T.Q. youth every year. In addition to the month-long activation, Showfields will be hosting several events throughout the month – Drag Brunch with Lady Celestina & Friends on Sunday, June 13 and D.J. & Drag Queen Meet n Greet on Sunday, June 27 (Pride Sunday!)
7 LGBTQIA+ Small Businesses Available to Shop at Showfields all of June:
- Queer Candle Co
- Prince Peacock
- Tahriri Scarf
- Playout Apparel
- Stuzo Clothing
- Simple Tafari Pride
- The Saint Shop
These are just a few highlights of the hottest happenings as New York City bounces back! ! So come to the Big Apple, wave those rainbow flags and have a Happy 2021 Pride!