Pride Guide 2013

JAHNA PELOQUIN | Updated 8/1/2013

The best festivals, parties and performances of Pride weekend.

Dancers from the Firm whooped it up during the 2012 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade.



The 41-year-old Twin Cities Pride Festival is still the heart of Pride weekend, with booths, socializing and great people-watching. Saturday’s Pride in Concert is headlined by British pop singer Neon Hitch and hip-hop/reggaeton duo Nina Sky, with rockabilly queens L’Assassins and the loungey New Standards. (Festival: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun., free. Pride in Concert: 5:30 p.m. Sat., $10-20. Loring Park, Mpls.


Back at the Pride Festival for a second year is the Beer Dabbler, featuring unlimited craft-beer samples from more than 25 local breweries, plus food trucks and live music by Tickle Torture, Koo Koo Kanga Roo and Apollo Cobra. (5:30-9:30 p.m. Fri. $35-$45, $10 designated driver. Loring Park, Mpls.


Ladies dance night Blush Friday hosts a block party featuring performances by Sarah Cotner, Krissy Krissy, God-Des & She, and DJs Shiek and DBAZ. (4 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri., $15 after 7:30 p.m., L.A. club DJ Pornstar is the big draw for Saturday night’s Fire and Ice Block Party, which includes an underwear contest and male go-go dancers. (9 p.m. Sat., $10), while Sunday features a battle of the DJs with Shiek, Kris Holiday, Chrystal Mann and DJNB. (6 p.m. Sun., Free.) (Lush Food Bar, 990 Central Av. NE., Mpls.


After a year off, Uptown Pride returns with emcee Foxy Tann and live performances by L’Assassins, Chastity Brown, Dykes Do Drag, Sick of Sarah, Southside Desire, Epitome No Question and the North Star Roller Girls. Plus: Tipsy Bike Karaoke, grilled eats and local brews. (6-10 p.m. Fri. Free. All ages. Lake St. & Bryant Av. S., Mpls.


This year’s Saloon Block Party is headlined by YouTube breakout duo Karmin, known for quirky covers of pop hits. There's also Estonian pop artist Kerli, plus Esera Tuaolo, Eric Himan and Pop Rocks. (4:30-11 p.m. Sun. $20-$35. 18 & older. 830 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-332-0835.)



Named in honor of Ashley Rukes, the transgender former director of the Twin Cities Pride festival, the parade is without a doubt the centerpiece of local Pride events. And with the recent passing of the same-sex marriage law in Minnesota, a more celebratory air than ever is guaranteed. It’s no surprise that former Vikings punter and “Beautifully Unique Sparklepony” Chris Kluwe was named this year’s Grand Marshal; joining him on the parade route are Mayor R.T. Rybak, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Mark Dayton; Dykes on Bikes, Black Hearts Burlesque, North Star Roller Girls and Prairie Lady Fire Choir. (11 a.m. Sun. Free. Hennepin Av. S. between 3rd St. & Spuce Place, Mpls.



The Pride edition of the “Grown and Sexy” burlesque-meets-dance night features “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 3 winner Raja, plus sexy performances by Sweetpea, Nadine DuBois, Dykes Do Drag and more, and DJ sets by Shannon Blowtorch. (9 p.m. Fri. $12-$15. First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls.


This “adult Candy Land” will feature colorful and kitschy decor and another “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum — Season 3 runner-up and Minnesota native Manila Luzon, who cut her drag teeth at the Gay 90’s — plus DJs Kris Holliday and appearances by Pride in Concert headliners Neon Hitch and Nina Sky (see above). (9:30 p.m. Sat. $10-$20. Skyway Theatre, 711 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.)


Bedlam Theatre’s and Intermedia Arts’ long-running queer cabaret features a mix of drag, burlesque and gender-bending acts exploring themes of gender and sexuality with provocative performance. (7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Sliding scale. Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. 612-871-4444.


The Gay 90’s signature drag revue, the Ladies of La Femme, stars special guest and “Drag Race” Season 1 winner Bebe Zahara Benet. (8 p.m. Thu.-Sun., $10-$15. 18-plus. Gay 90’s, 408 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.


BERLIN PRIDE: DJ Shannon Blowtorch’s monthly queer dance night features a mix of indie, darkwave and electro plus guest DJ Wzz Wnshp. (10 p.m. Thu. $6. 21-plus. Hell’s Kitchen, 80 S. 9th St., Mpls. 

THE BIG GAY PRIDE PARTY: URBAN PARADISE: New Orleans-bred house DJ Joe Gauthreaux headlines with supporting sets from DJs MF Multidimensional Fortitude and Larry Peace, singer Kyle Brylin and drag queen Sara Tonin. (9:30 p.m. Fri. $10-$20. Epic, 110 N. 5th St., Mpls.)

GAY 90’S FOAM PARTY: 9 p.m. Fri. $5-$10. 18-plus. Gay 90’s, 408 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.

MINNEAPOLIS EAGLE’S SCORCH FIREBALL 14: Minneapolis’ premier leather bar celebrates with a tent party on Friday and Saturday, with 3-for-1 specials 4-7 p.m. Friday, a bloody Mary brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and an all-you-can-drink beer bust 4-8 p.m. Sunday. (Minneapolis Eagle & Bolt Underground, 515 Washington Av. S., Mpls. 612-338-4214.)

PRIDE FEST AT LORING KITCHEN: Three days of DJs, including Espada (5-10 p.m. Fri.); Bach, Mike 2600 and Jonathan Ackerman (noon-10 p.m. Sat.); and King Otto (noon-3 p.m. Sun.) on an outdoor stage. (Free. 1359 Willow St., Mpls. 612-843-0400.)

PRIDE SOUL FRIDAY WHITE PARTY: Shannon Blowtorch, Lady L, Naughty Boyy and Soul-Lushus will spin R&B, hip-hop and house on Saturday, despite the name. (9 p.m. Sat., $5. Hell’s Kitchen, 80 S. 9th St., Mpls.

BOOBY TRAP PRIDE: With the Booby Trap Girlz go-go dancers, DJs DMIL and DBAZ. (9 p.m. Sat. $15-$25. Epic, 110 N. 5th St., Mpls.

SUGAR: DJs Bryan Gerrard and JR. (9 p.m. Sat. Free. Jetset, 115 N. 1st St., Mpls. 612-339-3933.)