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25 ideas for hosting a Pride event

Whether you're planning your very first Pride event or you're a seasoned Pride event organizer, sometimes you need a little boost in creativity when deciding what kind of event you'll host next.



When many people think of a local Pride event, they think of a parade, festival, or march, and these types of events are certainly very common. But, there is no right or wrong way to host an LGBTQ Pride or community event. In fact, large-scale parades, marches, and festivals may not always be best suited for every city, town, or community.


USAP has collected 25 ideas for hosting your next Pride event. Take a look at this list below, and you might even be inspired to create an entirely different and unique experience of your own:

Parade:

A Pride parade is a public procession or march that celebrates the LGBTQ community. These events often feature floats, marching bands, and colorful costumes, and are often held in conjunction with a festival, concert, or other event.


March:

Some smaller communities opt for a march instead of a parade. The key difference lies in the make-up of your marching contingents. Simpler marches typically don't include many or any floats or vehicles and consist only of community organizations or individuals who are walking. Marches can take place on a public street, a sidewalk, or in a pedestrian only area like a park or plaza.


Festival:

A Pride festival is a large-scale event that celebrates the LGBTQ community and typically includes food, music, and other entertainment. These events may be held over the course of a day or weekend and may feature activities such as live music, drag shows, and vendor booths. The various components of a large-scale festival can be broken out and turned into their own unique events, too, like:


Community fair:

A community fair is a smaller-scale event that brings together local LGBTQ organizations and businesses. These events may include informational booths, activities for kids, and live entertainment. You can host a business or organization marketplace in a park or a large meeting room. A unique spin on a community fair event is a job and career fair; invite local businesses, both small and large, in your area who can help job-seekers find new employment.


Pride concert:

Many large-scale festivals include at least one stage with entertainment. A stand-alone concert can bring people together to enjoy live music, drag performances, spoken word artists, and more. These events may be held at a music venue, a theater, or other public venue, including unique ideas like an outdoor amphitheater at a local park.


Pride picnic:

A Pride picnic or "Pride in the Park" is like taking the best of all a large-scale festival has to offer and simplifying its best component parts: Food, check. Music, check. Games and activities, check. Picnic-style events are simple to plan, and you can invite other community organizations or businesses to join you in providing food, games, activities, entertainment, information, resources, and more. You can host it at a picnic shelter near a park playground and create a unique, family-friendly event for all ages.


Conference:

Pride events are often fun and colorful, with opportunities to party, to get informed, and to get connected with other community organizations and resources. You can up the educational and empowering nature of a Pride event by hosting a conference! You conference could be a single-day event or a multi-day event, focusing on educational and professional development. You can include a variety of workshops, panel discussions, keynote speakers, meals, and more. And you can target to a wide, general audience, or a more specific audience like educators, healthcare professionals, or business leaders.


Workshop or seminar:

Don't have the means to host a multi-day conference event? Why not try a single- or half-day workshop or seminar? Going even simpler, you can host a lunch-and-learn event, providing educational opportunities over a mid-day meal.


Formal or informal fundraising event:

A fundraising event is a great way to not only raise money for your own organization or partners, but can also be a fun way to get your community involved in your mission. Practically any event idea in this article can be turned into a fundraiser, but here are a few examples that can specifically stand out on their own, or in combination, as formal or informal fundraising events:


Formal dance:

A formal or semi-formal event that brings people together to dance and socialize in a supportive and inclusive environment. These events may be held at a ballroom, a community center, or other public venue, and may feature live music or a DJ.


Fundraiser dinner/gala:

A fundraising dinner is an event that brings people together to enjoy a meal and raise funds for a specific cause or organization that supports the LGBTQ community. These events may be held at a restaurant, a hotel, or other public venue, and may feature a variety of foods and beverages. Many fundraising dinners or galas also include a silent auction.


Cocktail party:

A cocktail party can be a simple and informal or more elegant and formal social event that brings people together to enjoy drinks and conversation. These events may be held at a bar, a restaurant, or other public venue, and may feature a variety of cocktails and snacks.


Pride 5K:

A 5K running event celebrating LGBTQ community has become increasingly popular as a fundraising event choice across the country. Your community gathers not only to have fun and raise money, but also to promote physical fitness. These events may be competitive or recreational; the choice is up to you!


Movie night:

An LGBTQ-themed movie night is a relaxed and informal event that brings people together to watch a film that is relevant to the LGBTQ community. This could be a documentary, a feature film, or a short film collection. Some organizations create a movie series, bringing together movie-goers on a monthly or some other regular schedule. Or, you can go big and create a film festival, showcasing a variety of films in a single week or weekend.


Book club:

A Pride book club is a group that meets regularly to discuss books that are relevant to the LGBTQ community. These events may be held in person or online, and may be open to the public or limited to a specific group of attendees.


Art exhibit:

An LGBTQ-themed art exhibit is a great way to showcase LGBTQ life and creativity, while also empowering LGBTQ artists. These events may feature a variety of media, such as painting, sculpture, photography, and more, and may be held at a gallery or other public space.


Sports tournament:

A Pride sports tournament is an organized event that brings together LGBTQ athletes and allies to participate in various sports activities. These events may be competitive or recreational, and may be organized around a specific sport or a variety of sports. Like a 5K, sports groups and tournaments can be a great way to bring people together, raise money, and promote health and wellness.

Interfaith event:

Many communities embrace the allyship of LGBTQ-affirming churches and other faith institutions by hosting an annual interfaith event. You can host such an event in a variety of ways, be it a formal interfaith worship service or celebration, concert, a shared meal, or a community fair-style event tailored to faith-based organizations.


Drag show:

Everybody loves a drag show! Partner with your local LGBTQ nightclub for a Pride-themed drag show, or strike out on your own and rent a local theater or other venue for a full night of fun and frivolity. Drag shows can be a great way to showcase and empower local drag artists, while bringing together people for a great cause.


Pride brunch:

Like a night-time drag show, Pride brunches are fun events that often feature drag performances, while gathering people around a meal and community. Partner with a local restaurant with plenty of seating and performance space. You can raise funds by charging tickets and admission.


Karaoke event:

A karaoke event can be simple and fun event held at any time of the day. Let the natural singing stars of your community shine and join along in song!


Game night:

Bring people together to play games and have fun in a supportive and inclusive environment. A simple game night can be held at any public venue, the corner of a coffee shop, a community center, library or other fun place! Be sure to bring a variety of games and activities, including video games!


Talent show:

A Pride talent show can showcase the talents of LGBTQ individuals and allies. You can feature a variety of acts such as singing, dancing, comedy, or magic. Spice it up with a little competition and host a talent contest! Some Pride groups use talent shows, contests, or auditions as a way to invite local artists and entertainers onto their annual festival or concert stage.

Comedy or open mic night:

Invite local LGBTQ comedians, spoken word artists, and other entertaining speakers for a night of comedy and entertainment. These simple events can be hosted at coffee shops, comedy clubs, bars, theaters, or any other creative venue.


Trivia night:

Trivia nights have taken local communities by storm the past decade. Some communities have put a unique LGBTQ twist on the theme by planning trivia nights with drag queens as their hosts! Drag bingo nights are also a unique twist on this fun, inviting, and low-stakes event idea.


Are you a Pride organizer?


Are you a new Pride organizer? Or, perhaps you're a seasoned Pride veteran, but you've never heard of USAP or InterPride? Learn more about the benefits of membership with the premier national organization serving Pride organizers in the United States. One application. One fee. Two memberships. Join a national and international family of Pride!



Portions of this article were generated with the assistance of AI, with additions, revisions, and editing performed by a human writer.




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