This year, NYC Pride returns with a new route, new events and an estimated 2 million people from around the world ready to express their pride, protest and march! And while we’re sure you’ve already got your tickets for some of the major Pride events, there’s also a practical side to making it through the big day. The last thing you want is to end up dehydrated on Eighth Avenue wearing the wrong shoes, tipsy and sunburnt, with an uncharged phone and a full bladder. So we’ve compiled some insider tips to surviving Pride and thriving on the last Sunday in June.
1. The 2018 March has a new route.
The 2018 Pride March has a new route. The starting point is in the heart of Chelsea, at 16th Street and Seventh Avenue; from there, the March heads south on Seventh Avenue toward Christopher Street, veering east through the Village and over on Eighth Street, before turning north on Fifth Avenue, where it concludes at 29th Street.
2. Pride Island has a new home.
This year, the second annual Pride Island (formerly known as the Dance on the Pier) will move uptown to a new location in Hell’s Kitchen—Pier 97, at 57th Street and the West Side Highway. It will have the same great Hudson River views, the same electric DJs and the same dancing all afternoon and into the night as before.
3. Pack comfortable shoes.
You should plan to be on your feet all day, so pack some comfy kicks. The Adidas Pride Collection allows you to keep your feet comfy while rocking the rainbow! The I-5923 model received a colorful makeover with a flair for rainbow-inspired pastels.
4. Make sure you've got cash.
It’s a good idea to have cash on you as many vendors along the route are cash-only. Plus, you might want to tip the cute go-go boys or your favorite drag queen that you spot on a float. So plan ahead with a stop at these ATMs near the beginning of the route:
- CVS, 81 Eighth Avenue (at 14th St.)
- Duane Reade, 33 Seventh Avenue (at 14th St.)
- Merci Market, 168 Seventh Avenue (at 20th St.)
- Duane Reade,180 W. 20th Street (at Seventh Ave.)
- CVS, 75 Christopher Street (at Seventh Ave.)
5. Charge your battery for free at LinkNYC.
Between the maps, the apps, the texts, the Facebook Live-ing and Instagramming, your phone will be working overtime. The last thing you want to see is the low battery warning pop-up in the middle of your fun. For a quick and free charge up, you can stop at one of the City’s new LinkNYC terminals, which offer USB ports—just be sure to bring a cable. Or you can plan in advance and buy a portable battery pack for $30, which is the equivalent of two charges.
6. Make sure to hydrate.
Drink a lot of water. You can buy bottles of water at a corner deli, but a refillable water bottle is ideal and more green too; you can refill and rehydrate at a number of water fountains in Washington Square Park, which is close to the route as it goes through the Village. New York’s drinking water is considered to be the best in the US and consistently wins annual taste tests, according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
7. Things’ll be great when you’re downtown.
Book a hotel downtown near the main Pride March route. Having easy access for wardrobe changes and freshening up throughout the day will be very useful. Trust us! So make sure to check out our complete list of hotels near Pride and reserve your room today.
8. Call in gay.
Straight people are known for calling in sick the day after the Super Bowl, so damn it, we can do it, too. (What you mean you already called in sick the day after the Oscars?) Call your boss and tell him you’re taking Monday off. You’re going to be tired, sunburnt and maybe hungover. So rest up, sleep it off and come back rejuvenated on Tuesday.
9. Don't forget to wear sunscreen.
Not to sound like your mom, but you should be wearing sunscreen everyday. Every. Single. Day. This is especially true during Pride, when you’ll be outside in the June sun for hours. Put it on at home, and make sure to bring extra to reapply. You’ll thank us later.
10. Dress fashionable but comfortable.
NYC Pride is a celebration of diversity and freedom to be yourself, no matter who you are or where you’re from. Be expressive and wear colorful tank tops and shorts that embrace the rainbow! You can check out our guide to where you can find the best Pride looks in NYC. So go crazy with your wardrobe, but take the heat into consideration; light, fun, colorful and outrageous is the way to go.
11. Go with friends.
Pride is about connecting, meeting new people and celebrating with the ones you love. Get a fun group of your peeps together and cut loose. You can fly solo if you choose, but we think your chances of staying safe and having fun are improved by buddying up.
12. Scope out the best bathrooms.
We’ve all been there: you’re jammed between thousands of gays, the police have closed off the streets and suddenly you gotta go. And, of course, the line for the restrooms at Starbucks is down the block. We use this cool online resource to tell us where the public restrooms are along the march route. Or you can take our expert tip: purchase VIP PrideFest tickets (an event that takes place simultaneously in Greenwich Village). It's worth it for the bathroom and free water access alone.
13. Know your history.
On June 28, 1969, the police raided The Stonewall Inn, resulting in riots, protests and nearly a week of unrest. In June 1970, to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a Pride March was held; it’s a tradition that has continued for nearly half a century. When you’re in the Village, be sure to pay homage at the new Stonewall National Monument.
14. Take public transit to get there.
Leave your car at home, as parking is hard to come by (and expensive). We recommend taking the NYC subway or CitiBike to reach the March, but please…no drinking and cycling! Via subway, it's best to get off at Union Square (4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R trains) and then walk a few blocks to Fifith Avenue; you can use the station at 14th Street and Seventh Avenue (1, 2, 3 trains), which is near the starting point on Seventh Avenue. Avoid the Christopher Street stop if you can because crowds around in the Village can make it difficult to access. If you want to watch near the historic Stonewall Inn, be sure to get there early.
15. If you want to march, plan ahead.
If you want to march in the parade, you can do so with a little advanced planning. All marchers must be part of a registered group, which means you can’t just drop in and join the march. But you can march with an existing group; find a list of organziations who welcome additional marchers by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212-807-6327.
16. Don't miss this year's Grand Marshals.
Each year, the Pride parade is led by four Grand Marshals—if you want to see them, your best bet is to look near the head of the March, which steps off around noon at Seventh Avenue and 16th Street. This year’s marshals are international sports icon Billie Jean King, writer and gender advocate Tyler Ford, Caribbean-based activist Kenita Placide and the national LGBTQ rights organization Lambda Legal.