People celebrate Pride in Downtown Crossing, Boston
Photograph: Courtesy Downtown Boston BID

Here's how to celebrate Gay Pride in Boston

Embrace the LGBTQ+ community this year with Pride parties, the official parade and specials around the city.

Jacqueline Cain
Written by: Tanya Edwards
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Celebrating Pride Month every June is something Boston has done well for decades. Not only is there an official parade in Boston, but there is also a colorful array of parties, events and specials celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. All month long there are fun ways to fundraise, embrace diversity and catch some of the city’s most dynamic performers. Check out our picks of the top Pride parties and specials this summer.

Amid these exciting events, don’t miss out on the afterparties at the best gay bars in Boston, and check out our favorite drag shows year-round.

When and where is the Pride parade?

The Boston Pride parade kicks off at 11am on Saturday, June 8, at Copley Square before moving through the South End and ending at Boston Common.

The non-profit Boston Pride for the People produces the parade to commemorate folks who risked their safety to advocate for the lives and humanity of LGBTQ+ people, as well as to celebrate the richness and complexity of LGBTQ+ community and to continue to advocate for equity and inclusion.

After the parade, a festival on the Common features performances from local and national entertainers (lineup TBA). City Hall Plaza will host a 21-plus block party beginning at 2pm with DJs, drag queens, LGBT+-owned local breweries and more. 

All Boston Pride for the People events are free for all to attend. Last year’s Pride parade in Boston saw over 1 million attendees—so get ready to be part of a good time!

“Boston has a historic legacy of advancing equity and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community,” Mayor Michelle Wu shared in a statement about the activities. “I’m grateful to Boston Pride for the People for their critical work to ensure that we are creating space for joy and inclusivity throughout the year. I look forward to welcoming people from all across the region and country to Boston this June.”

The best Boston Gay Pride events

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In Boston, queer individuals have been making history for centuries. The Freedom Trail has a new walking tour that illuminates the lives, loves and fights for liberty within Boston’s LGBTQ+ community. The Freedom Trail Foundation offers the Rainbow Revolutionaries tour on Saturdays and Sundays throughout June (except June 8), departing at 10:45am from Boston Common behind the Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial. Tickets are $8-$17. 

Bring your pup to mingle during Pride Week at the Liberty Hotel. Yappier Hour in the Yard kicks things off on Monday, June 3, from 5:30-8pm, where you can pick up goodies for your best friend courtesy of Red Dog Spa, with Onyva Dog Spa onsite to do complimentary brush-and-fluff sessions. JP Licks will be selling treats for humans and dogs alike, tunes will be provided by DJ Skoolyahd and drinks will be flowing from the cash bar. This event is free though RSVPs are requested.

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Celebrate Pride with laughs on Wednesday, June 5, at Night Shift Brewing in Everett. Headliner AJ Hapenny and comedians Trevor Dion, Brian Plumb, Chris Post, Jennifer Dwyer and Maxwell Schultz bring the jokes, while Night Shift offers a variety of craft beverages. Don't miss Fruity with a Booty, a raspberry-grapefruit wheat ale brewed in collaboration with—and in support of—Boston Proud. The show starts at 7pm. Tickets are $30 and a portion will be donated to Boston Proud.

 

Toast Pride with a glass of summer water on Thursday, June 6, from 6:30-8:30pm. A Pride-themed rosé wine dinner at Clink at the Liberty Hotel promises a vibrant culinary journey, with courses like frog legs meunière and rosé-mango halo halo, all expertly paired with a pink drink. Tickets are $115.

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Whether or not you indulge in the rosé dinner, you can head to the Liberty Hotel afterwards to celebrate in high fashion. On Thursday, June 6, beginning at 9pm, a special Pride fashion show features dark-couture looks by Matthew Charles Knight, who is showcasing his latest collection called "Rise of Lilith.” With a DJ spinning from 8pm onward, specialty drinks and a photobooth add to the fun. This event is free though RSVPs are requested.

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On Friday, June 7, head to the rooftop at the Revere Hotel for a silent disco party. This event, hosted by LesbianNightLife, will have three DJs battling it out on a multi-channel headphone system, so that attendees can choose their favorite music. Feel out hip hop, Top 40, house, Latin and old-school remixes—or just enjoy the view and some great cocktails. Tickets are $28.

Before the Pride parade on Saturday, June 8, fuel up at OAK Long Bar + Kitchen. Located near where the route begins, the Copley Square landmark invites parade participants and spectators to visit the patio for complimentary Nespresso coffee and espresso between 9-11am to get the energy high early. The Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel will open for brunch at its usual hour of 7am and will have gluten-free, rainbow-glazed heart-shaped pancakes on special. Available daily for breakfast and brunch for the entire month of June, each order of pancakes donates $1 to the Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth (BAGLY).

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