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Everything you need to know about this year’s Gay Pride March

Everything you need to know about this year’s Gay Pride March
Photograph: Filip Wolak
There are plenty of Gay Pride events in NYC, but the pièce de résistance is the March. This year’s will be slightly different, becoming both a memorial for the Orlando shooting and a somber reminder that equality still has a long way to go. Here’s everything you need to know about watching and walking in the March, what to wear (all the rainbows!), who you’ll see on the floats and how to keep celebrating #loveislove.
 
RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of Gay Pride in NYC
 
• The March takes place in NYC on Sunday, June 26, 2016 at noon.
 
• It’s free!
 
• It begins at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ends at Christopher and Greenwich Streets in the West Village. See the route map here.
 
• This year’s theme is Equality Needs You. Last year’s March was a joyous occasion coming mere days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, but now, there’s a serious note as we realize how far we still have to go.
 
• Because of the Orlando shootings, there will be added security this year, with hundreds of security guards throughout the March. Nothing has been cancelled.
 
• Parking will be suspended on these streets in Greenwich Village and the West Village, including all of Christopher Street and a chunk of 5th Avenue. Not only will your car get towed if you leave it there, but many of the streets will be completely closed to traffic as well. So stay away, Citi Bikers.
 
• It’s not technically called a parade; it’s the Pride March. NYC uses that name to honor the very first March, which happened in 1970 on the first anniversary of the riots at the iconic Stonewall Inn. It will not change its name to “parade” until all LGBT people have complete equality.
 
• Awards are given out for float themes like Best Music or Performance and Best Use of NYC Pride Theme. Last year, the March had more than 80 floats participating, so get ready to Snap the most impressive ones.
 
• The Grand Marshals this year are transgender teen Jazz Jennings, the youngest marshal ever at 15 years old, Syrian refugee Subhi Nahas and Cecilia Chung, an HIV/AIDS awareness advocate.
 
• If you want to walk in the March, you have to either create your own group or join one. Email march-help@nycpride.org for information on existing groups that have openings.
 
• The March is happening rain or shine, so make sure to bring an umbrella and wear sunscreen.
 
• If you’re walking in the March, wear sneakers! It’s two miles from start to finish, and you need to be comfortable while you walk/dance to the best gay songs along the way. It’s also basically impossible to get to a bathroom.
 
• Wear every rainbow article of clothing you own (makeup included). Seriously, people go all out
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