Pride is going to be crazy this year — yeah, crazier than usual. The Vote No campaign colored last year’s big weekend orange and it’s a safe bet that the legalization of gay marriage will give this year’s festivities, which will again center around Loring Park, an especially jubilant air.
You might be a Pride virgin; you might have more parades under your belt than you can remember. Either way, here are the events we’ve handpicked for your rainbow-flavored enjoyment. Head online to mndaily.com/ae to play with an interactive map and don’t you dare forget to have fun this weekend:
Technically Pride hasn’t started yet, but Wednesday holds a few gems for all you early birds who just can’t wait for Friday.
Intermedia Arts (2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis)
Get your Pride started with an evening of love and tenderness from Intermedia Arts and Bedlam Theatre, with performances from a diverse cast that includes students from the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. We hope there’s another rainbow this year — and given all this rain, we sure wouldn’t be surprised.
Black Hearts Burlesque
Hell's Kitchen (80 S. 9th St., Minneapolis)
Cap off your night with something a little sexier. The third annual Pride show from Black Hearts Burlesque will have your toes tappin’ and your hearts fluttering. The stunning Victoria DeVille will host.
Here it is. We’re finally here. It’s Pride time. We’re proud of ourselves for holding in our excitement with such dignity and we’re even happier to let it all go tonight. Let’s party.
Loring Kitchen & Bar (1359 Willow St., Minneapolis)
The Loring’s outdoor stage will be danced upon by many a hottie this weekend, starting with master of soul and funk DJ Espada on Friday night. Come back on Saturday and Sunday to groove with the likes of Jonathan Ackerman and King Otto.
Pride Beer Dabbler
$35 in advance
The Cities are on their brewing A-game, and we’re typically down to taste the varied fruits of its labor. Spend a few hours in Loring Park, sampling from 25 local breweries and 25 food trucks and shaking your hips to Tickle Torture, Koo Koo Kanga Roo and Apollo Cobra.
Uptown Pride Block Party
Bryant Avenue and Lake Street
A more appropriate name for this no-waste community event might be the Badass Chicks Block Party. All our favorite girls will be there, mics and sidekick boys in tow — Epitome No Question, Sick of Sarah, L’Assassins, Chastity Brown and more are slated to unleash their unbridled attitude on the block party.
“We are Family”
Ted Mann Concert Hall (2128 4th St. S., Minneapolis)
Who wouldn’t want to be regaled with “Y.M.C.A.” by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus? This event features songs that are anthems of the gay community.
Grown & Sexy Pride
First Avenue (701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis)
Presented by 89.3 The Current, this dance night promises to be one of the most buzzworthy of the weekend. Raja, the goddess herself, winner of the third season of "RuPaul's Drag Race" will be in the house. She'll be joined by a crew of local powerhouses, including Minnesota's own Sweetpea, co-founder of Lili's Burlesque Revue, and Shannon Blowtorch, an inked up DJ who's working on a project with Le Tigre.
The Beer Dabbler has come and gone — hopefully you still have plenty of gas in the tank. If you need a few extra to sleep off the hangover, don’t worry, there’s plenty happening Saturday night.
Pride in Concert
Pride’s main musical event features Britain’s sexpot Neon Hitch, identical twin singers Nina Sky, jazz trio the New Standards, and femme fatale punk rockers L’Assassins. All we can say is that when Neon Hitch performs “Fuck U Betta,” which she betta, the park is gonna go nuts, potentially with grinding — that’ll be a sight to remember.
Skyway Theatre (711 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis)
Don’t be a sucker and miss out on this candy-themed adult dance party. Hopefully you won’t slip on slick, syrupy floors while dancing between the three rooms, each of which has its own DJ.
Transvestite Soup Presents “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
Uptown Theatre (2906 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis)
The one and only genre and gender bending cinematic experience is back. Transvestite Soup brings its crew of shadow actors along to heighten the interactive effect of this cult classic.
It’s a sad truth but a truth nonetheless: All good things must come to an end. Savor the last day of Pride with a slow brunch and a talk from a football player — bonus points if you can get both at once.
Seven Ultralounge, 700 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Enjoy a mimosa and get energized for the oncoming floats at Seven’s all-you-can-eat buffet. Hosted by drag queen Bitch Flowers, the merry gathering on Seven’s rooftop will feature Foxy Tann and DJ Shiek.
Music at the Pride Festival
Loring Park, Minneapolis
Follow the parade to Loring Park and grab a bite from a food truck when you feel your energy waning. Starting at noon, Southside Desire, June Bug, Matt Iverson, the Freedom Jazz! Big Band, Buffalo Moon, the Roxxy Hall Band, Keri Noble and Boogie Wonderland will all play the Pride Festival’s main stage. With over 300,000 visitors last year, this’ll form the hub of the Pride party.
Chris Kluwe Reading and Discussion: Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies
Target Performance Hall, The Loft Literary Center at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis
Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, whose support for gay marriage made him a national figure, will read from his new book, “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.” Kluwe’s letter to a Maryland state legislator already went viral for its appeal supporting free speech for football players. “Beautifully Unique” will hopefully expand on his letter, but no matter what, the reading will be a thoughtful conclusion to the weekend.