When the Pacific Northwest does pride, it does it up right, and that’s never truer than when the Seattle Pride Festival and the Seattle Pride Parade take over the entire month. While the fest runs from June 23 to 24, its related celebrations last all month. More than 350,000 people attended in 2011, and more are expected at this year’s celebration. Expect everything from doggie drag competitions to Pride Idol to peaceful, supportive picnics.
With the enormous crowd expected, the wisest choice would be to use the metro transit system on pride weekend. If you need to drive, there are metered street spots and paid parking lots throughout the parade route and near the Seattle Center. The closest Westlake Center location is the parking garage located between fourth and fifth on Olive Way that charges $4 for half an hour to $22 for seven or more hours. Saturdays and Sundays offer a reduced $7 daily rate.
Pride Idol Contest
Seattle, WA 98122
Hours: June 10 – 8 p.m.
Price: $10 to enter
Seattle’s Pride Idol is citywide contest held every Sunday night through June 3 with each weekly winner earning a $100 prize, and a finale June 10. Along with the title of Seattle’s 2012 Pride Idol, the grand prizewinner earns $1,000 and performs aboard the Seattle Out and Proud float during the Pride Parade. Second place will score $200 while third place will take home $100.
Seattle Pride Picnic
1428 31st Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98112
Hours: June 16 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Prices: $1 per person
Get together with family and friends at the Seattle Pride Picnic in Volunteer Park for a family friendly display of LGBT support and pride. The annual event, presented by BECU, gives everyone an opportunity to visit while enjoying lunch together. The buffet picnic, which is catered by Spud.com, includes hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, veggie dogs, salads, fresh fruit and beverages, all for just $1 per person.
Run and Walk With Pride
5895 Lake Washington Blvd. South
Seattle, WA 98118
Hours: June 17 – 10 a.m.
Price: $25 adults/$15 children and student
The 2012 Run and Walk with Pride will begin at Seward Park, and includes 10K and 4K runs, and a 4K walk with proceeds going to the It Gets Better Project’s GLSEN WA. The races welcome all abilities and ages, and everyone receives an official T-shirt. Prizes are awarded for the best times, and raffle entries go to all finishers. Registration closes at midnight Friday, June 15.
Related: Seattle’s Best Gay And Lesbian Bars
Seattle Pride Festival and Pridefest
321 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109
Dates: June 23 to June 24
The largest LGBTQ party in the Northwest is held over two days at the Seattle Center, featuring four stages of music and entertainment. The Seattle Pride Feast, an all-day foodie event, immediately follows the Downtown Pride Parade June 24. Activities include hundreds of vendor booths, family and children’s areas, food, beer gardens, a variety of artists, women and men’s parties, and a doggie drag costume contest.
Seattle Pride Parade
Parade begins at the corner of Union Street and 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98109
Hours: June 24 – 11 a.m.
The 2012 Seattle Pride Parade theme is The Many Faces of Pride, acknowledging the diversity within Seattle LGBTQ community. Judges will be awarding prizes for the best parade costumes: $500 for first, $250 for second and $100 for third place. The 38th annual parade is scheduled to last roughly 2.5 hours and is held rain or shine. ADA viewing areas are located at Westlake Plaza and on the east side of 4th Avenue and Bell Streets. ASL interpreters are available at both the Westlake Park and 4th and Bell street announcer stages.
1727 15th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
Price: from $98 to $158
The elegant Gaslight Inn offers a common living room and a library for relaxing away from the busy weekend, or enjoy a dip in the heated pool before dropping off to sleep in one of its four large rooms. Free WiFi and a continental breakfast are included with your stay, with fresh fruit, scones, croissants, juice and coffee. The inn is located on the bus route for easy access to all of the pride events.
300 Roy St.
Seattle, WA, 98109
Price: from $175.20 to $229
Conveniently located adjacent to the Seattle Center, the Maxwell Hotel features pillow-top beds, a microwave oven with a welcoming packet of popcorn, a mini refrigerator and a 42-inch TV in every room. Guests have access to the hotel’s large indoor swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness equipment as well as complimentary bicycles.
Grill on Broadway
314 Broadway East
Seattle, WA 98102
With its large menu and accommodating prices, the Grill on Broadway is a great choice to grab a bite after the pride parade. If the weather is nice, opt for the outdoor seating, which is great location for people watching, especially during this huge weekend event. Check its calendar for fun events throughout the week to mix it up a bit.
Charlie’s Bar and Grill
217 Broadway East
Seattle, WA 98102
Housed in a historical Seattle building, Charlie’s has been serving the area for more than 30 years. Its dark wood and stained glass décor includes a crazy backgammon table in the bar and pool tables in the back. The place is known for its pepper soup as well as an amazing Sunday brunch. Charlie’s everyday menu consists of comfort foods, burgers, pastas, salads and happy hour snacks.