May 31, 2022 - Things to Do

Virginia Pride events kick off in June after three-year hiatus

People stand on a stage waving in front of a very large crowd

VIrginia Pride Festival 2019. Photo: Michael Hostetler Photography

Pride is back, baby. After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Virginia Pride says its annual Pridefest is 100% on this year.

Why it matters: "Pride matters because LGBTQ people matter," Virginia Pride's program director James Millner tells Axios.

  • "We celebrate the progress we've made towards societal acceptance and legal equality, but it's also a time to commit ourselves to the work that still must be done to protect that progress," Millner adds.

What's happening: Pridefest is Saturday, Sept. 24, on Brown's Island. (Reminder: Virginia officially celebrates Pride in the fall so as not to compete with D.C. Pride, which is June 11.)

  • But the festivities will kick off on June 1 with what Millner calls "the most coordinated series of observances of LGBTQ Pride Month the Richmond Region has ever seen."


  • "Endless Summer of Pride" starts Wednesday with Mayor Levar Stoney's annual Progress Pride flag raising and proclamation.
  • Main Street Station will once again be illuminated with pride colors. Dozens of other downtown buildings and local businesses will be too.
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens will illuminate its conservatory and host Pride events all month long.
  • GRTC is unveiling a "Pride Bus" ā€” a city bus wrapped in pride colors ā€” sometime in June.

Plus: Events all summer include a film festival at the Byrd, happy hours around town and a Pride night at the Flying Squirrels game on June 23.

  • A full list of events and activities can be found here.

Flashback: Richmond's first Pride festival was in 1979 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The bottom line: "This will be the queerest summer ever in Richmond," Millner says.


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