New York City is the city that embraces diversity and has a vibrant LGBTQ community. It becomes especially evident during Pride Week, taking place every June when all five boroughs of the city mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Activities include movie screenings, a rally on the Hudson River waterfront, concerts, rooftop rave parties, and a massive march through Chelsea and Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan.
One of the early events is Queens Annual Pride Parade which goes down 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, attracting about 40,000 spectators. This Gay Pride Parade is followed by a street festival with live music, drag performances and food vendors.
The main highlight of Pride Week is the annual New York City Pride March, surpassed by only the Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade as the largest in the world. It draws tens of thousands of participants and millions of spectators. The march starts at about noon. It passes by the famous Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, where June 1969 Stonewall riots, have started the movement for gay rights. Over 550 different marching contingents, over 100 floats make the march one of the most popular events in NYC.
Other significant events are The Rally, Teaze (also known as Rapture on the River), PrideFest and the Dance on the Pier (Pride Island).
Pride Island takes place at Hudson River Park’s, Pier 97, in the heart of Hells Kitchen. This is one of the most popular Pride Week Events featuring lots of live music. The diverse lineup includes legendary soul singers, indie pop bands, and more. Pride Island is indeed a central hub for the LGBTQ community in NYC. Pride Island also serves as a fundraiser to help NYC Pride to produce many free events such as our new Youth Pride, Family Movie Night, PrideFest, the March, and the Rally.
No less famous is Masterbeat—A Saturday night dance party, held in the iconic Hammerstein Ballroom. Built by Oscar Hammerstein about 100 years ago, this four-levelled venue hosts about 3,000 party-goers. Every year has a special theme which determines décor and music selection. The dance party starts at 10 pm and lasts till all the dancers are exhausted and ready to go home.