This year, the annual Pride celebration in NYC gets supersized with WorldPride and Stonewall 50. People from around the world will be here to mark the occasion, all of them ready to express their LGBTQ+ pride with protest and parties, panels and performances, and, of course, the March itself, which this year will be especially epic. And while we’re sure you’ve already got your tickets for some of the big official events, there’s also a practical side to making it through this year's Pride weekend. So we’ve compiled some insider tips to surviving WorldPride and thriving on the last Sunday in June.
1. The 2019 March has a different route.
The 2019 Pride March has special route this year for WorldPride and the Stonewall 50 celebration. Marchers will begin on 5th Avenue at 26th Street and head south until they reach 8th Street. Then marchers will head west, cross over Sixth Avenue and continue onto Christopher Street, passing the Stonewall National Monument. Marchers will then head north on Seventh Avenue, passing the New York City AIDS Memorial, before finishing up in Chelsea just north of 23rd Street.
2. Grace Jones headlines Pride Island in Midtown.
This year, the third annual Pride Island (formerly known as the downtown Dance on the Pier) is in Hell’s Kitchen—Pier 97, at 57th Street and the West Side Highway. The incredible all-weekend event will be headlined by queer icon Grace Jones. The “I Need A Man” singer will be joined by Teyana Taylor, set to perform on Saturday, and Brazil’s most famous drag queen, Pabllo Vittar. Rounding out the Saturday lineup will be Kim Petras, Afro-Latina pop star Amara La Negra, and superstar NYC DJ Johnny Dynell, all of whom will keep the party going all night. On Sunday, DJs Abel and Morabito will spin queer classics and house show beats accompanied by fireworks over the Hudson River for the grand finale. Pride Island is officially sold out, but tickets may be available on broker sites like StubHub.
3. WorldPride Opening Ceremony.
The WorldPride Opening Ceremony is set to be one of the season’s most star-studded concerts; Whoopi Goldberg, Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, Ciara, Billy Porter and Todrick Hall will be there to kick-off the biggest pride season in NYC history. The event will be held on Wednesday, June 26, at Brooklyn's Barclays Center from 7–10pm. Proceeds will support the Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality and SAGE. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.
4. Pack comfortable shoes.
You should plan to be on your feet all day for Pride, so pack some comfy kicks. The Adidas Pride Pack allows you to keep your feet comfy while rocking colorful shoes.
5. 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 route of the March:
- CVS, 81 Eighth Ave. (at 14th St.)
- Duane Reade, 33 Seventh Ave. (at 14th St.)
- Merci Market, 168 Seventh Ave. (at 20th St.)
- Duane Reade, 180 W. 20th St. (at Seventh Ave.)
- CVS, 75 Christopher St. (at Seventh Ave.)
6. 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 a low-battery warning in the middle of your fun. For a quick and free charge up, stop at one of the City’s new LinkNYC terminals, which offer USB ports—just be sure to bring your own charging cable. Or you can plan in advance and buy a portable battery pack for $30, which holds the equivalent of two charges.
7. Make sure to hydrate.
Drink a lot of water. You can buy bottles of water at a corner deli, but a reusable 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 March 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.
8. 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 the best hotels near Pride and reserve your room today.
9. 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. (Wait—you mean you already called in sick the day after the Oscars!?) Call your boss and tell him you’re taking Monday off. After a nonstop weekend of events and activities, you’re going to be tired, sunburnt and maybe hungover. So rest up, sleep it off and come back rejuvenated on Tuesday.
10. 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 throughout the day. You’ll thank us later.
11. 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 or other Pride merchandise that embraces 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.
12. 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.
13. Know your history.
On June 28, 1969, the NYC police raided The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, 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, a landmark that is being celebrated this year with Stonewall 50 and WorldPride. So when you’re in the West 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! To get to the March 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 Fifth Avenue; or use the station at 14th Street and Seventh Avenue (1, 2, 3 trains). Avoid the Christopher Street stop if you can because crowds in the Village can make it difficult to access. Taking the train to West Fourth Street (A, C, E, B, D, F, M trains) is a better option for trips to the Village. And If you want to watch the March near the historic Stonewall Inn this year, be sure to get there early!
15. 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 for them on special vehicles near the head of the March. This year’s Grand Marshals are Monica Helms, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, the Gay Liberation Front and the Trevor Project, and the cast of the FX series Pose.