Metro Weekly

Capital Pride to revive in-person celebrations in June

More details about the Capital Pride Parade and Festival will be made public at a "Pride Reveal" party in early March.

capital pride
2019 Capital Pride Festival – Photo by Ward Morrison.

The Capital Pride Alliance has announced the return of in-person events as part of the Capital Pride 2022 celebration, which will take place from June 3-12.

“We are very hopeful for the future, as we plan for the return of this year’s large-scale Pride Celebration, in addition to the 50th anniversary Celebration of Pride in the Nation’s Capital in 2025,” Ryan Bos, the executive director of the Capital Pride Alliance, said in a statement.

“After two years without a Parade and Festival, our community is yearning for a sense of celebration, unity, and, quite simply, normalcy.”

Capital Pride had previously struggled over the past two years to balance the desire to celebrate LGBTQ identity and community with concerns over the risk posed by a large-scale gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In lieu of traditional celebrations, Capital Pride and its partners arranged multiple virtual and online events during the worst months of the pandemic, when large-scale gatherings became nearly impossible due to capacity restrictions at restaurants and bars, as well as entertainment venues where community members would normally gather. 

Last year, organizers planned several scaled-back celebrations mark Pride, including the Capital Pridemobile parade, where a Pridemobile Trolly, followed by a line of colorfully-decorated automobiles drove through various neighborhoods; a limited-capacity Capital Pride Honors reception; a “Taste of Pride” brunch that participants undertake on their own; and the Colorful Fest, a block party and street fair taking the place of the normally larger and more popular Capital Pride Festival.

The shift to in-person events means the return of the Capital Pride Parade, which weaves its way through various neighborhoods in the city, and Capital Pride Block Party, which takes place that same afternoon near the intersection of 15th and P Streets NW, on June 11.

The following day, June 12, the Capital Pride Festival and Concert will return to its traditional spot, with booths representing various organizations, vendors, and businesses lining the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets NW, with the main stage facing the U.S. Capitol.

“We’re excited to soon unveil the plans for this year’s celebration that we had originally hoped to implement in 2020,” Tiffany Royster, the Capital Pride Alliance’s Celebration Chair, said in a statement. “A new, streamlined Parade route will reflect the evolving footprint of our growing community, all while providing better vantage points, increased health and safety measures, and ample space for a community Block Party.”

Ashley Smith, the board president of Capital Pride Alliance, noted in a statement that carrying out the various Pride events successfully is often dependent on financial support from the community.

“CPA relies on the generosity of our community and stakeholders to remain strong and resilient and help keep the legacy of Pride alive for years to come. It’s critical, now more than ever for our community to lend a hand during these difficult times, so that these events can continue in our region,” Smith said.

“Whether you volunteer, donate, purchase items from our online Pride365 Shop, or sign up to participate in one of our events, your support will help us continue to bring visibility to our LGBTQ+ community, all while providing much needed economic opportunities to our local artists, business owners, and community groups.”

More details on the specifics of the festivities, including the new parade route, will be made public at Capital Pride’s “Pride Reveal” party, which will be held in early March. 

Capital Pride’s festivities will take place from June 3-12, 2022. Online registration is now officially open for organizations, businesses, or food vendors wishing to participate in the Capital Pride festival on Sunday, June 12.

For more information about Capital Pride, or the upcoming “Pride Reveal” in early March, visit www.capitalpride.org or follow the organization on Twitter at @CapitalPrideDC.

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