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Smaller cities host unexpectedly big Pride Month celebrations

Shirley McMarlin
| Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 1:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh is one of many cities across North America (and beyond) that host Pride parades and festivals. Here, participants line up to march in Pittsburgh's 2017 Pride parade.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh is one of many cities across North America (and beyond) that host Pride parades and festivals. Here, participants line up to march in Pittsburgh's 2017 Pride parade.

June is Pride Month for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and related communities and their allies, honoring the Gay Liberation Movement that took hold in the United States during the late 1960s and 1970s.

The last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the "day" soon grew into a monthlong series of events.

Celebrations now include parades, parties, workshops, concerts and other events, including memorials for members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.

Pride Month activities attract millions of participants around the world; many thousands of those go to Pittsburgh's Pride celebrations that this year will include a rally and EQT Equality March on June 10.

Fodors Travel Guide has come up with a list of 11 cities across the U.S. — and beyond — with unexpectedly big Pride events.

Three of them — Columbus, Ohio; Ashbury Park, N.J.; and Norfolk, Va. — are within reasonable driving distance of Western Pennsylvania. A fourth — Savannah, Ga. — is just a direct flight away via Allegiant Air.

Cities on the Fodors list with upcoming events include:

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Ten days of education, arts, fashion, sports and cultural activities are set for June 8-17, including a special Shabbat dinner and drag-queen bingo.

Columbus, Ohio: Stonewall Columbus Pride draws the state's LGBT community for a march and festival, this year from June 15-17, featuring a 5K Run for Pride, Sunday Pride Brunch and entertainment on the Drag Stage.

Houston, Texas: The 40th anniversary of the Houston Pride Festival kicks off June 19, culminating with a parade on June 23 right outside Houston City Hall.

Denver, Colo.: Nearly a quarter-million attendees are expected to descend on Civic Center Park on June 16 and 17 for screenings, all-faith services, a 5K run, live performances and a big parade.

Norfolk, Va.: Norfolk's Hampton Roads Pride is the state's largest LGBT event, set for June 24-30. The 8th annual Pride Boat Parade on June 30, the only one like it in the country, will make a big splash on June 30.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: Tens of thousands will head to Halifax for the biggest Pride event in Atlantic Canada, from July 19-29. Community education, arts, concerts, tastings and tours will culminate with a colorful parade through downtown.

Savannah, Ga.: Savannah Pride will feature a Halloween-themed celebration October 25-27 in "America's most haunted city." The weekend will start with the second annual "Masqueerade Ball."

Some of the festivals on the Fodors list are already past for 2018, including the No. 1 spot — Long Beach, Calif., where activities on May 19-20 included a parade and live music with headliner Sheila E.

Guam also made the list, with the second annual Guam Pride celebration from May 31 to June 2.

Desfile del Orgullo ("Parade of the Pride") took place in Guadalajara, Mexico, on June 2.

Fodors calls Asbury Park, N.J., "the state's go-to LGBT beach town" and Jersey Pride happened there on June 3.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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