June 22, 2024

Calder Plaza

Since 1988, the Grand Rapids Pride Festival has celebrated local LGBTQ+ residents and their contributions to the fabric of our city. Today, it is one of the largest single-day events in the city – bringing LGBTQ+ community members, LGBTQ+ businesses, allies and supportive organizations together for a day of diversity, inclusion, fellowship and fun.  

The theme for the 2024 festival is “Queer is Natural,” celebrating and empowering both individual expressions of queerness and the collective strength of the queer community .  The event will take place on Calder Plaza  from noon to 10pm on June 22.

All-day entertainment includes nationally recognized hip-hop artist, TV personality and cultural influencer Big Freedia. Known as the larger-than-life ambassador of New Orleans Bounce music, Big Freedia will be bringing her distinctive voice and signature catch phrases to the Calder Plaza stage as headliner of the event.

There will also be a food court, beer tent and vendor booths as well as a children and family area. Stay tuned for more details!

Pride celebrants often end the night at The Apartment Lounge, Michigan’s oldest gay bar, or Rumors Night Club, a rollicking dance and drag destination. They’re both within a 10-minute walk of Calder Plaza.

About GR Pride

GR Pride is a safe, open and welcoming environment for every member of the 2-SLGBTQ+ to proclaim their personhood, without reservation and without apology. The Pride Festival is a fundraiser organized by the Grand Rapids Pride Center , the area’s most comprehensive resource for 2-SLGBTQ+ individuals. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated and go directly to Pride Center programs and services. You can also contribute by signing up as a sponsor and/or volunteer.

The Center and affiliated organizations offer a slate of additional Pride-friendly events and activities throughout June, so check back here in the weeks to come. For things to see and do right now, visit our LGBTQIA+ in GR page.

Your Pride Weekend Itinerary

Spend the weekend in Grand Rapids to soak up the all the Pride you can. Scroll down to see our ever-expanding list of PRIDE events. Get inspired by the 2023 Pride Weekend Itinerary of a Black, queer and trans couple from Chicago and these lesbian-friendly recommendations from another Chicago visitor.

You’ll also want to check out these locally owned & operated LGBTQIA+ businesses – bars, restaurants, coffeehouses, shops and more – so you can support the local queer community while you’re here!

PRIDE Events

Pride Festivals Near Grand Rapids

Lowell Pride takes place on the banks of the beautiful Flat River in downtown Lowell, about 20 minutes from downtown GR. The day will be full of fun performances, talented vendors, delectable food and incredible community. June 1.

The Muskegon Pride Festival is an all-day, all-ages street party featuring vendors, live music, drag performances, poetry and children’s activities. June 1.

The second annual Grand Haven Pride Festival takes place at Waterfront Stadium on June 8.

The Holland Pride Festival celebrates its 21st year with music and dancing, a family and kids’ area, food trucks, games and more. At Centennial Park June 29.

The Saugatuck-Douglas Care-A-Van Parade and Pride in the Park Festival take place June 1.

Discover Grand Rapids Hotels 

June is a great time to visit Grand Rapids. Why not turn your trip to the Pride Festival into a mini-vacation? Take a look at the wide range of hotel options available. Looking for something cozier? Our Bed and Breakfasts will not disappoint. Do you love the outdoors? Then check out our campgrounds.

History of Grand Rapids Pride Festival

The first Grand Rapids Pride Festival took place on June 19th, 1988. It was organized by a group of local residents who had attended the March on Washington for Lesbian Gay Rights on October 11, 1987. They wanted to bring the sense of pride, security and belonging they experienced in the nation's capital to the LGBTQ community of West Michigan.

That first festival was hosted in the metaphorical heart of Grand Rapids – the Monroe Amphitheater (now Rosa Parks Circle) – a rightful place for a community that contributes so much to the city’s vibrancy and creativity.

The Pride Festival has grown in size and scale over the years and is now held in Calder Plaza, which can accommodate the dazzling lineup of local and national entertainers, 100+ vendors, and thousands of attendees that flock downtown to celebrate diversity and inclusion each year.

Grand Rapids Pride Center

The Pride Festival is a program of the Grand Rapids Pride Center, which empowers the local LBGTQ community through supportive services and awareness. The Pride Festival helps generate funds to further the Center’s invaluable work.