While other cities have a Pride parade, festival or day, that’s not enough for Boulder.
Boulder’s got a full Pride Week.
And while most other area Colorado cities celebrate the LGBTQ community with a Pride event in the summer (Denver’s was June 16-17 and Longmont’s was June 23), Boulder waits until the end of summer to do its big gay day in September.
This year, Boulder begins its Pride Week on Sept. 4, with different special events every day, and it culminates on Sept. 9 with the annual Boulder Pridefest in Central Park.
Pridefest, organized by Out Boulder County, is Boulder’s biggest LGBTQ+ event of the year. It features live entertainment, food trucks, vendor booths, activities for kids and more. Out Boulder County also organizes Longmont’s summertime Pride festival. This year, downtown was painted in rainbows and bouncing with flash mobs and filled with photo booths, artists and even a dunk tank.
Out Boulder County also organizes other LGBTQ-related events throughout the year, such as an annual Garden Party in June, Transgender Awareness Week in November and an annual Red Party in February.
Here’s how to experience Boulder Pride Week 2018:
Tuesday: Catch a film. The Dairy Arts Center will screen “To a More Perfect Union” at 7 p.m. This feature-length documentary is about the U.S. vs. Windsor case, when a woman was forced to pay an estate tax bill after her spouse died because the government didn’t offer federal benefits to same-sex couples. The woman, Edie Windsor, sued the government and won. This film follows her legal and personal fight for equality.
Friday: Burlesquerade Party at License No. 1. That’s a masquerade burlesque party, of course. Wear your masks, lace and burlesque attire and enjoy performers from Boulder Burlesque and Vertical Fusion. The first 100 tickets pre-sold get a free mask at the door and the chance to win a room at the Hotel Boulderado. Tickets are only $10, so that’s a cheap hotel room in one of the luxury, historic hotels in Boulder.
Saturday: See Andrea Gibson, poet and activist, perform live at 7:30 p.m. at the Chautauqua Auditorium. Gibson won the Women’s World Poetry Slam and has headlined famous venues across the country, sharing readings about gender, sexuality, love, spirituality, social classes, bullying and more. Gibson has published multiple poetry collections and released seven albums. Tickets start at $25.
Gibson, who is one of the best-known modern poets, began their career in 1999 in Boulder, at an open-mic night reading a break-up poem.
Sunday: Start the morning with your heart pounding (or at least cheering) in the Big Gay 5K. This annual race starts at 10 a.m. in downtown Boulder and is a fundraiser for Out Boulder County.
Pridefest officially kicks off at 11:30 a.m. and runs until 6:30 p.m. Central Park, 1236 Canyon Blvd. The festival will be filled with gay-friendly vendors and booths, Pride merch galore, photo booths, freebies, a family area and other activities.
Catch live entertainment all day, starting with music by Cat Jerky at 11:30 and including drag kings like Mile High KINGdom and drag queens like Bella C Le Cher, as well as cheerleaders, Brazilian Samba dancers and a B-52 tribute band.
Planning a Gaycation to Boulder?
If you’re gay and looking for resources and other events in Boulder, don’t miss our Gaycation Guide.
A few quick tips:
- Check the Out Boulder events calendar for events during your stay. This calendar is always packed with activities, some regular, some special. You’ll find fun things to do in Boulder every week and often multiple times a day.
- Make sure you look at the PFLAG event calendar, too. This group’s annual Gender-Expansive Fashion Show every spring is a must-attend.