The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

There’s no need to wait for the parade to celebrate Pride

The Capital Pride parade takes place June 11, but there are many ways to celebrate before then. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

The Capital Pride parade and street festival garner much of the attention every June, but there’s much more to Capital Pride than its tent-pole events and “official” dance parties at local nightclubs. This is a guide to some of the events happening in and around the D.C. area before Pride holds its official opening party June 10.

June 2

DC Brau Pride Pils launch and dance party at Dacha Beer Garden: Since 2017, DC Brau’s Pride Pils beer has raised more than $42,000 for local charities SMYAL and the Blade Foundation. This year’s edition, dubbed “Proud to Say Gay” after the can design by D.C. artist Chord Bezerra, makes its debut during a party at the Dacha Beer Garden in Navy Yard. Happy hour runs from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by a DJ’d dance party until 11. Admission to the party is free, but a VIP ticket includes a can of Pride Pils and access to a VIP area. As with the beer, all proceeds from the VIP tickets go to charity. 6 to 11 p.m. dcbrau.com. Free-$20.

June 3-4

Hop Culture x New Belgium present Queer Beer at the Wharf: Hop Culture loves to turn conventional craft beer culture on its head. In 2018, the Pittsburgh-based online beer magazine launched Beers With(out) Beards, a festival celebrating woman-led breweries. Last year, Hop Culture held a virtual Queer Beer Festival, an online gathering with a tasting of 10 beers, which were shipped directly to customers; panels; and a cooking class. The second edition of the Queer Beer Festival is being held over two days at the Wharf, with 30 breweries that Hop Culture says are “Queer-owned or Queer-operated, have LGBTQIA+-identifying people in prominent leadership positions, or are allies actively supporting the Queer community through programs, initiatives, or beers.” Participants include Denizens, Night Shift, Ten Eyck, Singlecut, Fullsteam and Red Bear, and there will be live music as well as unlimited beer samples. VIP tickets add an extra hour of tastings, special beer and food pairings, and access to an indoor area with private bathrooms. June 3 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.; June 4 from noon to 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 10 p.m. festivals.hopculture.com. $65-$150, or $10 for designated drivers.

June 4

Annapolis Pride Parade and Festival: Maryland’s capital city held its first Pride Parade and Festival in 2019, drawing more than 6,000 spectators, according to organizers Annapolis Pride. After two years of cancellations, it finally returns. The centerpiece is a parade on West Street, roughly between Westgate Circle and Church Circle, beginning at noon, followed by a festival and block party with multiple stages of live music, comedy and dance. The festival officially runs from noon to 5 p.m., but afterward, there’s outdoor dining on West Street and Market Space, and parties featuring drag shows and DJs. While the main event is only on Saturday, there are events all weekend long, include a family-friendly pre-Pride meet-and-greet at the Graduate Hotel on Friday night and a pop-up beer garden Sunday afternoon. Noon. annapolispride.org. Free.

Pride Family Day at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: Held outside the museum on the F Street plaza, this all-ages event includes performances by D.C.’s Different Drummers marching band; an “age-appropriate drag show” with Ruth Allen Ginsburg, Tippa Buckley and other local stars; and a dance party curated by DJ Rosie Hicks. As at most American Art events, kids are encouraged to create crafts, such as Pride flag jewelry (ages 8 and up), multicolored weaving (5 and up) or a cloud and rainbow streamer (3 and up). A scavenger hunt takes place indoors. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. americanart.si.edu. Free.

Alexandria Pride Festival: Alexandria spreads its Pride events throughout the month — look for an after-hours event at Torpedo Art Factory on June 10 and a “make your own Pride patch” event for teenagers on June 21 — but the central event takes place at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, with music, spoken word, hands-on art activities, food and a drag queen story time for children ages 3 to 8. 1 to 4 p.m. visitalexandria.com. Free.

June 6

Outspoken: A Night of Queer Expression at Busboys and Poets Brookland: Busboys and Poets remains one of the region’s most important destinations on the open mic circuit, and it’s no different during Pride. This annual event invites poets of any gender identity to get onstage, though trans women and cisgender women are “especially encouraged” to participate, regardless of their experience. Proceeds benefit the Capital Pride Alliance and the Pride 365 Fund. 7:30 to 10 p.m. capitalpride.org. $10-$20.

June 8

DC Bike Party’s We Say Gay! Ride: The monthly DC Bike Party takes on a Pride theme for this month’s ride — “Don your superhero capes! Fly your most fabulous flag!” — but the logistics are the same as usual: Meet at the Dupont Circle Fountain at 7:30 p.m. At 8, a large crew of friendly cyclists of all skill levels takes off on a ride that covers around 10 miles over two hours, before winding up at Wunder Garten, this month’s featured after-party bar. Wear a helmet. Spandex is optional. Don’t ride on the sidewalk. 8 p.m. dcbikeparty.com. Free.

June 9

Live at the Library: Pride Night at the Library of Congress: The Library of Congress’s new after-hours series features Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart in a discussion with journalist James Kirchick, the author of the recent “Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington,” and special displays of items from the library’s collection that were used in Kirchick’s book. The library requires timed tickets for entry, and that goes for Live at the Library, too: Guests must reserve a time slot in advance but can stay as long as they want. (A new time slot opens every 15 minutes, and at press time, there were between 25 and 63 spaces available in the individual time slots after 5 p.m.) 5 to 8 p.m. loc.gov. Free; reservations required.

Films on the Green: ‘Matthias & Maxime’ at the Sylvan Theater: The Embassy of France and the Québec Government Office in Washington are co-sponsors of this screening on the National Mall. The 2019 film, nominated for the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, follows the repercussions after two longtime friends are asked to kiss as part of a short film. The film is shown in French with subtitles. In case of rain, it will be rescheduled for June 15. Film begins at sunset. villa-albertine.org. Free.

Loading...