When traveling this summer, here are some destinations to put on your circuit
At least one consideration you should make before booking any trip this summer is, where will all the gays be? June is the biggest month for Pride celebrations, and various cities and communities roll out the pink carpet for gay visitors … in addition to the events and circuit parties you can find. (Heck, a lot of folks nationwide will probably be coming to Dallas this weekend for the Purple Party!)
Here’s a rundown of some of the events you might want to plan to use your frequent flier miles on.
Las Vegas Festival: Matinee Pride, May 22–25. Not everyone waits until June, of course! The fifth annual Matinee Party in Sin City takes place Memorial Day Weekend with eight events spread over the four-day fest, including the main event Saturday night at the huge waterpark Cowabunga Bay. Suites are already sold out at the host hotel, Rumor, but there are rooms there and at the nearby overflow hotels of the Tropicana and Hard Rock. Weekend passes start at $199. MatineeVegas.com.
New York City: Matinee Pride, June 26–28. The fifth anniversary of this event comes to the city where gay rights started in June of 1969. Four events mark Matinee: Main Party at Capitale (Friday at 10 p.m.), Circuit Festival Rooftop Party in Hell’s Kitchen (Saturday at 2 p.m.), Action Afterhours (5 a.m. Sunday morning) and VOP Boat Cruise on the Circleline at Pier 83 (Sunday at 7:30 p.m.). Pre-sale tickets start at $99. MatineeNYC.com.
Chicago: Neverland Pride, June 27–28. The days of fun in the Windy City kick off with a pool party in Boystown on Saturday afternoon, the centerpiece Bougie Ball at 11 p.m. that night and wrapping up with DJ Ivan Gomez spinning Sunday from 11 p.m.–4 a.m. Pre-sale tickets are available for $85 for all three events at NeverlandChicago.com.
Austin: Splash Days, Sept. 4–6. Of course, you don’t need to fly to the four corners to have fun — Austin is just a quick drive down I-35 for the season-ending Splash Days. It all starts on Friday with the official (free!) welcome party at Rain on 4th from 10 p.m.–3 a.m. The Saturday main event, Splash Dance (what a feeling!) will be at Highland Lounge with DJ Roland Belmares spinning. And of course, it concludes on Sunday at Hippie Hollow on Lake Travis with a party boat docked for your enjoyment.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 8, 2015.