Pride in the Ocean State
Join the festivities around the state in celebrating Pride Month.
While Pride is celebrated all year long, June is the pinnacle of Pride celebrations not only in the LBGTQ communities, but by allies all around. Check out ways that you can support Pride by attending events or donating to charities.
Rhode Island Pride PrideFest and Illuminated Night Parade
Rhode Island Pride holds its annual PrideFest and parade on June 18 at the Providence Innovation District Park. Registration to march in the parade is currently closed, but the festival and parade are still very open to whoever wants to come enjoy the festival and watch the parade. The theme for 2022 is “Together Again!”
The gates open for PrideFest at noon, and Rhode Island Pride is expecting a big party, as the vendor exhibition area is hosting more than 200 nonprofit organizations, businesses, food vendors, a beer, wine and spirits garden, a Hasbro Kids Zone and the main stage entertainment.
The headliner for the main stage entertainment is Ada Vox, an accomplished vocalist and drag queen who had success on “American Idol” and RuPaul’s “Queen of the Universe” competition. Pangina Heals will also be performing on the main stage. Sometimes referred to as the RuPaul of Thailand, she is one of the most popular drag queens of Asia, she appeared as a co-host and judge on “Drag Race Thailand” and competed on “RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World.”
With all the excitement planned for PrideFest, Rhode Island Pride projects more than 100,000 visitors for the event, making it one of the biggest festivals of the year in Providence.
Later that night the Illuminated Night Parade kicks off at 8 p.m. It will start at the intersection of Washington and Empire streets. The parade will make its way down Washington Street and then turn right onto Dorrance Street, passing by City Hall, and then turning right onto Weybosset Street where it will culminate at the Providence Performing Arts Center.
Don’t think the party is over after the parade because the city of Providence is celebrating all weekend! There will be massive block parties between June 16-18, put on by the Dark Lady, Alley Cat, Ego, Providence Eagle, The Stable, and Mirabar. prideri.org/pridefest
Newport Pride Weekend
The city of Newport continues the party the following weekend with Pride festivities that last from June 24-26. The fifth annual Newport Pride Social kicks off the weekend June 24 with festivities at the Newport Harbor Hotel, outside the Saltwater Restaurant, from 6 to 9 p.m.
On Saturday, festivities include the Pride on Bikes parade at noon and the Pride Market and Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The two-mile bike parade begins and ends at the Great Friends Meeting House on Farewell Street. After the parade, enjoy the market and festival. While you are in Newport for the day, look for the rainbow-colored crosswalks around Equality Park that Newport Pride successfully pushed for.
A family-friendly event Sunday at Newport Craft Brewing and Distilling Company will help close out the weekend. From 3 to 7 p.m., bring the family to enjoy some live music and enjoy the brewery’s delicious menu options. Newport Pride and NPT Haus, a party entertainment service, will close out the weekend’s festivities at the Parlor from 6 to 9 p.m. with artists like Esthera, ZoilaRosa and Dusknight taking the stage. newportprideri.org/events
Queer Block Island’s Drag Brunch and Pool Party at Champlin’s Hotel and Marina
If you find yourself in Block Island on the weekend of June 19, check out the Drag Brunch and Pool Party at Champlin’s Hotel and Marina. Tickets are $50, and grant you access to the drag show, brunch, a complimentary cocktail and giveaway entries.
There will be performances by drag queens such as Midnight, Crystal Starz and Hella Sway, with music by DJ ZoilaRosa. The party runs from noon to 3 p.m. queerblockisland.com/events/poolpartybrunch
South County Pride Car Parade and Wakefield RiverFire
The South County Pride Foundation was created by South Kingstown High School seniors Magnolia Longworth and Evan Travis, a senior project that surfaced from a Pride car parade in 2020. Due to its success, Longworth and Travis wanted to expand the event the following year, collaborating with the Wakefield Village Association for the first RiverFire of the season. This year, they will continue the annual celebration on June 23. Festivities will kick off at 3 p.m. with the car parade down Main Street in Wakefield from the Peace Dale Congregational Church to Wakefield Elementary School.
The Contemporary Theater Company will host drag performances and raffles for local businesses. The celebrations coincide with the first RiverFire of the season, with a 6 p.m. lighting of the Saugatucket River.
Other Ways Pride is Being Celebrated in Rhode Island
Wright’s Dairy Farm
North Smithfield’s Wright’s Dairy Farm is showing their support for Pride Month by selling four-inch rainbow cakes and donating fifty percent of the proceeds to Pride at Work. The little pride cakes are funfetti flavored cake with traditional flavored, rainbow-colored frosting, and they are available now until June 30th. Pride at Work is a non-profit organization that is committed to organizing mutual support between the Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community. 200 Woonsocket Hill Rd, North Smithfield, 401-767-3014, wrightsdairyfarm.com
Providence Bagel is running a Pride special, but only for a limited time. From June 17-19 the shop will be selling rainbow bagels with funfetti cream cheese. If you find yourself in Providence that weekend for Pridefest, make sure to stop by Providence Bagel to take advantage of the special or check the website for their other locations in Kingston and North Providence. 695 North Main St, Providence, 401-421-2222, providencebagel.com
Not only is the iconic brewery selling a Pride PVD tropical sour ale all month long with proceeds benefitting RI Pride, but it is also hosting a Pride-themed Beach Party Bakery Sale on Saturday, June 18 from 1–6 p.m. Visitors can enjoy summery bites from Hometown Poke, goodies from a gourmet homemade bake sale, reggae tunes from DJ Red Dawn, drag performances appearances and a closing show by Providence Drum Troupe. Tickets are available for purchase here, with all proceeds going to Youth Pride, Inc., an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth in Rhode Island. 271 Tockwotton St. Providence, 401-437-8970, narragansettbeer.com