PrideFest is back, and the LGBTQ community is prepping to hit the streets where booze flows, bodies grind, rainbow flags wave and skin burns under the sun. While there are the usual liquor drenched festivities, thumping dance parties and ample opportunities to cruise, there are less debaucherous options as well, including kickball tournaments, races and kids' parades. Whatever your tastes, below are ten of the best offerings from this year's Pride.
10) Bearracuda Denver June 20 City Hall Fat? Hairy? Like your men that way? If so, consider taking a walk on the feral side of the queer community with bears, cubs and otters, who will be cuddling up on the dance floor at Berracuda, the most attended gay dance party in the United States. Start dancing at 9 p.m.; tickets cost $7 before 10 p.m. and $10 after.
9) Girl Pride June 21 City Hall Whether you're' looking for burlesque, gogo dancers, killer comedy or hiphop, from happy hour till midnight, Girl Pride will meet your needs. Hosted by Rose Garcia from the Real L-Word and Dru Marie from Spike TV and Girls in Wonderland, the event features the musical styling of DJ Tatiana, DJ Corona and DJ Robot5000, who will keep you dancing all night long. The event begins at 8 p.m. with a two-for-one cover till 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover for 21+ and a $20 for 18+.
8) Lost Worlds June 20 Tracks Forget Caligula. Denver's hottest women's night, Babes Around Denver is sponsoring Lost Worlds, a Roman-themed women's pride party at Tracks, which will be transformed into a Romanesque pleasure dome replete with gladiators, togas and beyond. The best toga outfit will win you $100. Tickets are $7 from 7-9 and $10 from 9 on.
7) Pride Parade June 22 Cheesman Park If you can stomach the fact that Coors continues to attempt to repair the damage from their homophobic political legacy by sponsoring the Denver Pride Parade and you don't mind the throngs of hetero business owners and politicians cashing in on the LGBTQ community, few parades compare. Wash down painkillers, pop a vitamin-b supplement and head to Cheesman Park at 9:30 a.m. for the kickoff. If you can't get up that early, catch the end of the parade on Colfax Avenue near Civic Center Park.
6) LOL LGBT FOR THE RUSH | Benefit Stand Up Comedy Show June 21 Jake's Food & Spirits Let's say you want to support amateur gay athletes but don't want to get all sweaty. The Colorado Rush Rugby Football Club is hosting a comedy show at at p.m. Jake's Food & Spirits. Featuring the gut-busting comedians Chuck Roy, Jordan Weileba and Brady Quarterman, the night promises to add some laughs to pride festivities.
Read on for more stellar PrideFest events.
5) Sportsfest Kickball Tournament June 21 Congress Park If you're not too hung over to run around, bust out your short shorts and join up with the Denver Gay and Lesbian Flag Football League who will be hosting a kickball tournament and BBQ at Congress Park. At 9 a.m. there will be an exhibition between the Mile High Mafia and the Denver Avengers. Kickball starts at 10:30. Get 11-15 of your best friends to sign up or watch for free from the sidelines. Registration costs $10 per player.
4) Big Gay 5K June 21 Civic Center Park If kickball isn't hardcore enough, tie up your sneakers and head to Civic Center Park for the Big Gay 5K. You can walk. You can run. It doesn't matter if you are gay or straight, young or old, this is an event for you. The runs starts 10 a.m. Registration is $35.
3) PrideFest proper June 21-22 Civic Center Park Between cruising, running, kicking balls and partying, it would be easy to neglect Civic Center Park for PrideFest proper, which is the third largest Pride event in the United States. Eat, drink, dance and explore the offerings of some of the 250 vendors showing off their goods. The event takes place June 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and June 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Don't forget your sunscreen.
2) Denver Dyke March June 21 Blush and Blu Now in its sixth year, the Denver Dyke March offers a queer, trans, feminist, dyke, lesbian, bisexual, genderqueer alternative to the mainstream boys club mentality that often infuses pride. The parade kicks off at 2 p.m. for a rally and entertainment and winds its way to Civic Center Park at 4 p.m.
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1) Kids Parade June 21 Civic Center Park Pride isn't just for adults anymore. Show up to the Imagination Station where your kids can decorate their strollers, bikes, tricycles, and flags at 11 a.m. Then take your creations to the Main Stage where the PrideFest Kids Parade begins at noon. All weekend, at Lincoln Park, the family area will be set up for games and activities including scavenger hunts, rainbow runs, water balloon tossing and sack races.