Every summer swarms of gay, bi, lesbian, trans folks and allies get their party on at Penn’s Landing for the official Philly Pride celebration. But because it can sometimes be a circus trying to figure out where to catch the parade, find out which celebrities are making appearances and where the best after-parties are happening, we’ve created the ultimate guide just in time for Pride weekend.
Pride kicks off on Friday with the second annual block party in the Gayborhood. Bars – including the recently renovated iCandy – will be offering drink specials and shops will be keeping their doors open late. You can also have some fun on the mechanical shark (yes, shark), something ominously called the “wrecking ball” or during a friendly match of miniature golf. It all happens on 12th Street between Walnut and Spruce (6 – 9 p.m.). Those outdoor seats at Knock will fill up fast.
Woody’s is hosting its own block party (noon) to celebrate both Pride and Philly Beer Week. Hawaii’s Kona Brewery hosts a tap takeover and pig roast followed by a “Summer of 69” drag fashion show by Philly’s own Prism Brewing Company (3 p.m.). Drag superstar Mimi Imfurst will also be unveiling the new Absolut OUTrageous Bottle (5 p.m.) with no shortage of dance music and drink specials until last call.
The annual Philadelphia Dyke March kicks off at Kahn Park (3 p.m.) before taking to the streets for women’s and trans awareness. After the march, live performers and speakers will be taking the stage at Kahn with free water ice.
Later that night, William Way’s Homecoming (6 p.m.) is hosted by Miss Mary Wanna and Notorious OMG, featuring the drag talents of Brittany Lynn, The Goddess Isis, Porcelain, Tammy Faymous, Omyra Lynn, Bridgette Jones and many others. The Philly Roller Girls will be in the house, along with Pew Fellow, choreographer and dancer Meg Foley. This year’s Homecoming Court – a veritable who’s who of the LGBT community – will also be honored.
Stimulus is hosting a special Arouse after-party for both the Dyke March and Homecoming at Voyeur (10 p.m.). Down in the Ruby Lounge, DJ Robert Drake will be spinning retro hits during his Boombox Show celebrating classic Pride (11 p.m.). And Sisters is also hosting the Fruit Loop Pre-Pride Party (9 p.m.) with two floors of DJs and “loopy” drink specials (the lounge also opens at noon on Sunday for an all-day Pride party).
The Gay Pride Parade kicks off the official Pride Day (noon) at 13th and Locust with the Dykes on Bikes. LGBT groups and businesses will be representing (we always like to see what the nightclubs and non-profits come up with each year) as the parade winds through the Gayborhood and down Market to Penn’s Landing. Remember to cheer on local LGBT leaders who are featured this year as Grand Marshalls, including Amber Hikes (click here to read our exclusive interview), Larry Felzer, Jim Julia, Lillian Rodriguez and Oberon Wackwitz. The parade is expected to arrive at Penn’s Landing by 1:30 p.m. where more than 140 groups will have set up shop with food, drinks, shopping and entertainment.
This year, Omarosa, the tough-as-nails contestant from The Celebrity Apprentice, will headline (though we’re still a little unclear as to what her “talent” actually is) along with Bob Lawson who’s known worldwide as the “Gay Mentalist.”
Be on the lookout for a few other special guests this year, like Miss and Mr. Philly Gay Pride Cyannie Famouz and Timmy Tenderloin. Rainere Martin will also be performing as the late great disco queen Donna Summer, while a few other queens will strut their stuff, including Cleo Phatra, Annarexia Von Fistnberg and Kemar Jewel. Quince Productions will also be putting on a show with Sarah J. Gafgen and Angela Manfredonia. The Liberty City Kings, Attic Youth and Cheer New York will also be showing off their talents. William Way‘s Executive Director Christopher Bartlett will also be belting out the unofficial gay anthem, “I Am What I Am,” from La Cage aux Folles.
There will also be a food ramp (bigger than ever, say the organizers) and sports zone featuring local LGBT athletic organizations. The pet zone will also be represented by a half-dozen animal rescue organizations with pets for adoption – and the family zone is all about fun DIY activities for the kids. Commitment ceremonies are also being planned at several locations – best call ahead for details (215-875-9288). We were happy to hear Sisters is back yet again with their Dunk-a-Dyke tank (watch out, Denise).
The whole event will be emceed by Henri David, while CBS 3‘s Jim Donovan will be the celebrity guest at the reviewing stand.
Following the festivities at Penn’s Landing, Bruce Yelk’s Triumphant Pride (2 p.m.) kicks off at Encore 112 in Old City with the Mr. Gay Philadelphia Competition (4 p.m.) hosted by Brittany Lynn with music by DJs Jimmy DePress and Morabito (5 p.m.).