The LBGTQ community is a vital part of the social fabric of Grand Rapids. Each June, the city celebrates LGBTQ residents and their contributions with a fun and fabulous Pride Festival – complete with live music, dance, food & drink, and more. All are invited to join in the fun!
From local drag divas to national headliners like En Vogue and Mýa, the festival presents top-caliber entertainment even as it educates LBGTQers and straight allies about supportive local resources. Befitting Grand Rapids’ reputation as a family-friendly city, it also includes a family fun zone with kid-friendly activities and adventures.
Additional pride-related events are typically held in the week leading up to the festival. Check the Festival’s Facebook page for the most current schedule.
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.
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.
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 hotels options available. Looking for something cozier? Our Bed and Breakfasts will not disappoint. Do you love the outdoors? Then check out our campgrounds.