This weekend is Portland Pride 2018, one of the largest Pride events in the Pacific Northwest. Luckily, Portland’s compact downtown area makes it easy to get around and enjoy all the festivities without too much fuss.
Here’s a rundown of what’s happening during Portland Pride, when it all goes down, how much it costs and extra events to ensure you don’t miss a thing.
When and Where is Portland Pride 2018?
Although the city has Pride-related events all week long, the two main events of Portland Pride are the weekend-long festival and the Sunday parade.
The festival happens at Tom McCall Waterfront Park (98 SW Naito Pkwy) on Saturday, June 16, from noon–8 p.m. and on Sunday, June 17, from 11:30 a.m.–6 p.m.. The earlier you show up, the less likely you’ll have to stand in a long line to get in. Be warned, though: No outside food drink (or cannabis) is allowed into the festival.
The Pride Parade begins Sunday, June 17, at 11 a.m. on the corner of W Burnside and NW Park Avenue, winding its way down NW Broadway and NW Davis before turning onto SW Naito Parkway and stopping at Pine Street. Make sure to grab a good spot early on so you can find some shade and get in position for the free gimmes.
How Much Will Portland Pride 2018 Set Me Back?
The parade is free, but entry into the festival comes with a suggested donation of $8. Organizers say no one will be turned away for lack of funds, but you’ll have to wait in line, especially if you show up late.
Also, if you’d like VIP passes — which come with two free drinks, special stage seating, performer meet-and-greets and a private bar and bathroom — it’ll cost you anywhere from $50–$75 a piece, depending on whether you buy two or buy them in advance. To buy VIP tickets, head here.
What Happens at the Portland Pride 2018 Festival?
Apart from a slew of vendor and food booths, midway games and carnival rides, there’s also a worthwhile lineup of acts on the main stage.
Saturday’s lineup includes a two-spirit opening ceremony at noon, Puerto Rican pop-lesbian Frankie Simone at 3:30 p.m., the queer hip-hop trio Bomb Ass Pussy at 6 p.m. (yesssss) and Portland rapper Maarquii at 7 p.m.
Sunday kicks off with a Drag Brunch at 12:15 p.m, the Portland Gay Men’s Choir at 2:10 p.m., gay American Idol alum David Hernandez at 4:15 p.m. and Drag Race alum Pandora Boxx headlining a Portland drag showcase at 5:30 p.m..
What About the Portland 2018 Parade?
The main parade is a family-friendly mix of local LGBTQ organizations and businesses, of course, and most will be throwing out beads and assorted tchotchkes.
Parking in Portland Sucks. What’s the Best Way to Get to Portland Pride 2018?
While you can always try and find parking around Downtown, native Portlanders know that during major events traffic sucks and parking is scarce. So you’re much better off taking the local Tri-met train to the Skidmore Fountain MAX Station or taking a bus (the 8, 12, 15 and 35 all stop close enough).
Otherwise, summon a car via Lyft or Radio Cab, but expect to get stuck in traffic for a bit.
Are There Any Other Fun Portland Pride Events Throughout the Week?
All weekend long there’s the 13th Annual Pride Block Party with music, performers and dancing in the street. The suggested cover is $5.
On Saturday evening there’s the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus Pride Concert, “The United States of Broadway” ($38–$45). Night owls can enjoy the Gaylabration party at The Crystal Ballroom with DJs, aerial performers and local drag queen Sasha Scarlett.
You can also enjoy the women and trans dance party Inferno at two different venues and times — it’s $13 for one venue, $20 for both.