The Denver PrideFest party begins well before the main event on the weekend: From cultural events and prayer sessions to drag shows and beer busts, there’s always something for everyone when it’s time to show your own version of Pride in D-Town. Keep in mind that most LGBTQ-friendly bars and clubs usually have something going on every night this week, including souped-up Pride editions of regular programming, so it’s probably safe to show up at your favorite spot and melt into the crowd, regardless of what day it is. Here’s a sampling of individual events and Pride-centric club nights to get you started; single events are arranged chronologically, followed by club nights, arranged alphabetically. Follow your muse and find your friends. Find everything else you need to know about this weekend’s Denver PrideFest celebration on the PrideFest home page.
Playground Ensemble, Speaking of Pride
Wednesday, June 13, 4 p.m.: GLBT Community Center of Colorado, 1301 East Colfax Avenue, Free
Thursday, June 14, 7:30 p.m.: Invisible City (address supplied with ticket purchase), $15 to $18 at Brown Paper Tickets
Join the Playground Ensemble and get in gear for PrideFest at one of three LGBTQ-friendly Speaking of Pride composers’ showcases leading up to the weekend’s fest in Civic Center Park. For a taste, attend a free first-come, first-served performance with limited seating on Wednesday at the GLBTQ Community Center of Colorado, 1301 East Colfax Avenue. A fully realized ticketed performance follows on Thursday at Invisible City, a West Colfax-neighborhood venue, which includes three semi-staged performances of music inspired by LGBTQ authors. For the price of a ticket, $15 to $18 at brownpapertickets.com, you’ll also get into an artist talkback and a wine reception with yummy desserts. The location will be revealed when you buy your ticket; visit the Playground Ensemble website for the whole scoop.
Gayer Pride: Crosswalk Walk-off
Friday, June 15, 6 to 9 p.m.
Buffalo Exchange Colorado, 51 Broadway
The Buffalo Exchange on Broadway has been hosting the anything-goes Crosswalk Walk-off for five years, providing an informal street runway for voguing “queens, kings and everyone in-betweens” in full costume in a show of Pride that comes with cash prizes. And it is a true in-betweens event in every way, as the runways, which cross Broadway at Irvington Street, are only in service during green lights. But this year, Buffalo Exchange (with help from Denver City Council members Jolon Clark and Robin Kniech, the neighborhood merchant association and a successful fundraising campaign) decided to up the ante by lobbying for new rainbow crosswalks, as seen lately in various other cities across the nation. The freshly painted street murals will officially debut at the Walk-off; get there early for a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. A free after-party follows, beginning at 9 p.m., at the hi-dive.
Denver PrideFest Official Women's Pride Party: Paparazzi
Friday, June 15, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Tracks Denver, 3500 Walnut Street
The venerable organization Babes Around Denver annually throws the official Denver Pride Week women’s party; it’s an overgrown, fully decked version of BAD’s monthly First Friday parties that draw hundreds of guests to the dance floor at Tracks each year. This year’s theme, Paparazzi, promises a venue-wide transformation that mirrors the stuff of one’s wildest dreams. Entertainment includes DJ Sosan and DJ Soup, the Fractal Tribe Troupe cirque-style performance group, and drag and impersonation segments. Admission to the 21+ event is $10 from 7 to 10 p.m. and $12 from 10 p.m. to close.
Saturday, June 16, 7 to 11 p.m., free
The Phoenix, 2239 Champa Street
The LGBTQ community supports its recovering populations, and the Sober Rave, hosted by the GLBTQ Community Center of Colorado, the Phoenix and the Peer Coach Academy Colorado, is Pride Week’s official nod to people who’d like to party hardy for Pride, but who also wish to forgo alcohol.
Loud & Proud Queer Dance Party
Saturday, June 16, 9:30 p.m. to close, $5 to $10 at the door
Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street
Inclusivity flies its rainbow-colored freak flag at the Merc for the Loud & Proud Queer Dance Party, an eighteen+ soirée that truly serves the entire LGBTQIA+ spectrum after fun in the sun at the first day of PrideFest. Hosted by Bravo! Zine, emceed by Hairy Bradshaw, performances by Lunette Cassette and Aqua Fina, and spins by DJs Buddy Bravo and Lauren A. Zwicky; the dance party forms a friendly bridge between Saturday and Sunday PrideFest events. Rainbow attire recommended!
2018 Pink Party
Saturday, June 16, 6 to 10 p.m.
Tracks Denver/Exdo Event Center, 3500 Walnut Street
$50 in advance, $60 at the door (discounted entry into Tracks available for an additional $10)
The nonprofit GLBTQ advocacy group One Colorado steps into the Pride game with a 21+ Pink Party benefit, the price of which funds political actions and includes a membership card. Shmooze and enjoy the open bar; after 10 p.m., you can take advantage of the discounted $10 entry into Tracks for the big Action Pride party.
A.M. Rolling *Pride Edition
Sunday, June 17, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hudson Hill, 619 East 13th Avenue
DJ Fancy Matthew’s A.M. Rolling daytime spins party goes with the flow of Pride over coffee and cocktails. Line up early along Colfax for the PrideFest Parade; afterward, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump over to Hudson Hill, where Fancy and Roger Soave of the Playground will be at the decks, rocking the house all afternoon.
Official Denver Pridefest After Party
Sunday, June 17, 8 p.m. to close
Temple Nightclub Denver, 1136 Broadway
$20 to $40 in advance
To officially cap a fabulous week of out-of-the-closet fun, the GLBT Community Center of Colorado will throw an after-party to remember at the new 21+ Temple Nightclub in the Golden Triangle, with national DJ Dave Audé and Orange Is the New Black cast member Taryn Manning, additional music by DUGAN and the Blondetourage Denver DJs, and a host of your favorite Denver Drag queens. A portion of all ticket sales (and Smirnoff liquor sales) will be donated to the Center; call 720-607-4000 for VIP bottle service.
BARS and NIGHTCLUBS
Blush & Blu
1526 East Colfax Avenue
Wednesday, June 13: Make You Blush Celebrates Denver!, 9 to 11 p.m., $5 cash at the door
Friday, June 15: Queer Pride Party Sass Capacity, 8 p.m. to close, $5
Saturday, June 16:
- Blush and Brunch with Denver Dyke March, 8 a.m. to noon
- Unity Community Showcase, 2 to 5 p.m.
- Sex Com with Debbie Sheer, 7 to 9 p.m.
- Lady Gang, live music, 9 to 11 p.m.
- Dancing with DJ Jody B, 11 p.m. to close
Sunday, June 17: Pride Parade Watch and Mardi Gras Party, 8 a.m. to close
Blush & Blu welcomes everyone, but gives special consideration to the whole alphabet city at the end of the GLBTQIA+ acronym, so no worries here if you’re afraid you might not fit in. Drink specials will be flowing throughout the week, so pipe up and ask.
Join Thin Air Burlesque for drinks and a little bump & grind to start off your Pride itinerary on Wednesday; on Friday, stumble into a special 21+ night for the general queer community, with drink specials, dancing, DJs Buddy Bravo and L.A. Zwicky, and the Secret Love Collective photo booth. Saturday is an all-day affair: Brunch and hang with the butch ladies of the traditional Denver Dyke March to get a roaring early start; things kick off with a selection of food trucks and entertainment before the march roars off to the State Capitol Building steps at 2:45 p.m. But never fear: The party keeps raging inside Blush & Blu until let-out, if you're hankering to get out of the sun and Civic Center Park. And Sunday’s the same: Start with prime viewing of the PrideFest Parade, followed by more food trucks, a NOLA-style Mardi Gras brass band and partying into the night.
Charlie’s Nightclub Denver
900 East Colfax Avenue
June 14 to 16: Charlie’s Pride 2018 Island Oasis Pool Party, 11 p.m. to close daily
Charlie’s keeps it simple with a seemingly un-ending late-night, beach-themed party that splishes and splashes nightly, Thursday through Saturday. Oil up those biceps and dive in.
Mile High Hamburger Mary’s
1336 East 17th Avenue
Saturday, June 16:
- Mary's Pride Party Hosted by Jessica L’Whor, 5 to 8 p.m.
- Mary's SAUCY After Dark Show, hosted by Jessica L’Whor, 10 p.m. to close
Sunday, June 17: Mary's Last Call for Pride, hosted by Khloe Katz, 9 p.m. to midnight
With a leadup throughout the week of Pride-inflected signature weekly events involving trivia, karaoke and happy hours, Hamburger Mary’s is THE place to refuel before killing it all weekend long, with glittery drag shows, cabaret acts galore and good eats any time, day or night. Working girls never looked so good. Same for the burgers.
3500 Walnut Street
Thursday, June 14: Spotlight, 7 p.m. to close, $7.50 to $12.50 online
Friday, June 15: Drag Nation, Fame, 7 p.m. to close, $20 online
Saturday, June 16: Action, 7 p.m. to close, $20 online
Tracks spit-shined its in-house drag-centric programming for Pride Week, with three big shows fanning out over the long weekend, beginning with Thursday’s kickoff, Spotlight, which includes exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of Tracks Studios. On Friday night, it’s Drag Nation on steroids for Fame, with a surprise interjection by Jon Jon Lannen’s Lipsync for your Laugh comedy drag game show from 9:30 to 10 p.m., and Saturday reaches new heights with Action, a burn-the-house-down Pride finale. Best-kept secret: Buy a $50 weekend pass for easy entry on all three nights.
2036 North Broadway
Thursday, June 14: Thursday Blackout with DJ Drew G
Friday, June 15: Pride XL with DJ Grind, 9 p.m. to close, $10
Saturday, June 16: 12"s of Love /// Pride ’90s Dance Party, 9 p.m. to close, $10
Sunday, June 17: Pride Spilt Tea with DJ Tracy Young, 5 to 11 p.m., $10
During Pride Week, the rebooted Triangle embarks on its biggest test so far, since reopening with a new look and atmosphere last December, so expect the club to play it to the hilt, with high-profile national DJs every night, a ’90s party and the official introduction of its new basement room. Take note: The Triangle offers a $25 Pride weekend pass online.
3090 Downing Street
Saturday, June 16: Megawoof America, Denver Pride Edition, 9 p.m. to close, $10 cover
Sunday, June 17: Pride Sunday Charity Beer Bust, 4 to 8 p.m., $12 cup, $10 cover, $20 fast pass
While the Triangle celebrates a revival, the Denver Wrangler, which announced recently that it will close June 25, begins a host of farewells with its last Pride events ever. Megawoof America brings an L.A.-style bear party deluxe to the club for one last hurrah on Saturday, while on Sunday, the Wrangler throws its final Pride Beer Bust, the most epic edition of its sudsy, shirts-off claim to fame, to benefit the Mile Hi Football Club and Colorado Canine Rescue.
629 East Colfax Avenue
Wednesday, June 13: Gaga Ball 3, 8 p.m. to close
Thursday, June 14:
- Denver Gay Professionals 7th Annual Pride Kick-Off Party, 3 to 8 p.m., free
- MGWN (#mygawdwhynot): Glow, 8 p.m. to close
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Friday, June 15: DTF Friday: Pink Flamingo Dance Party, 8 p.m. to close
Saturday, June 16: Flamingos Gone Wild, 8 p.m. to close
Sunday, June 17: Pink Flamingo Glitter Parade Party, 7 a.m. to close
X Bar is another hangout for everyone, with a hip atmosphere and a fun-loving streak exemplified by go-go dancers, lip-sync nights and an affinity for pink flamingos. Pride Week is all over the board, with a top-notch Gaga tribute with the Cortez Club, memorializing themes and music from the pop star’s many tours; a Miss Phitt fundraiser for the Transformative Freedom Fund; and a trio of Pink Flamingo rave-ups, beginning with a wear-pink party and ending with a Pink Flamingo Glitter Parade Party that starts at 7 a.m. on X Bar’s prime parade-viewing stretch of Colfax Avenue. It all ends Sunday with a celebratory beer bust and a drag show with Kai Lee Mykels.