WorldPride NYC & Stonewall 50: What to Do and Where to Stay

by  Jaymie DeGaetano | Jun 4, 2019
Stonewall Inn
Stonewall Inn / Photo by Jaymie DeGaetano

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, the first brick was thrown at the Stonewall riots, an event many regard as the birth of the modern gay rights movement. 50 years later, New York City is hosting WorldPride. A slew of events and exhibitions will take place during the monthlong celebration, all of which lead up to the NYC Pride March on June 30th  (which will be the largest in the city’s history). Here’s a snapshot of what to do and where to stay when in town for Pride Month.

Major WorldPride Events

World Pride Opening Ceremony (tickets from $65): On June 26, take in performances and tributes by the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Ciara, and Whoopi Goldberg at the Barclays Center. Proceeds go to Ali Forney CenterImmigration Equality, and SAGE.

NYC Pride March (free): The culmination of World Pride and Stonewall 50 takes place in the streets of Manhattan on June 30th. This year’s route begins in Madison Square Park and bears heads south through the West Village, and then back up Seventh Avenue, ultimately ending on West 23rd Street in Chelsea. Step-off starts at noon.

WorldPride Closing Ceremony (free, but registration is required): Wrap up WorldPride at the WorldPride Closing Ceremony in Times Square on June 30. From 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., catch sets from various speakers, comedians, and artists including Margaret Cho, Jake Shears, Deborah Cox, and Melissa Etheridge.

Brooklyn Twilight Pride Parade (free): Every borough has its own set of events, and Brooklyn's Pride Parade is the only parade in all of New York City that takes place in the evening. Afterwards, consider grabbing a drink at local Park Slope gay bar, Excelsior

WorldPride Parties 

VIP Rooftop Party (tickets from $100): Dance the afternoon away on Saturday, June 29 on the roof of The Park, a restaurant and bar in Chelsea. Proceeds benefit NYC Pride, which organizes all major pride events and happenings every June.

Femme Fatale (tickets from $35): On June 30, ladies can let loose at this end-of-pride bash at The Park. Dance to sets from DJ Kittens, DJ Mary Mac, DJ Bonnie Beats, DJ Nikki Lions, and DJ Lena.

LadyLand (tickets from $55): Ladyfag, the reigning queen of New York City nightlife, will ring in the second annual LadyLand (an outdoor queer music festival) from June 27 to June 28. Artists like Gossip, Honey Dijon, Pussy Riot, and  Yvie Odly (the reigning queen of RuPaul's Drag Race) will take the stage at Brooklyn Mirage in Bushwick. 

Arts & Culture Exhibitions and Activities

LGBTQ+ History, Neighborhood and Pub Tour of Greenwich Village (tickets from $71): Intrepid’s Urban Adventures brand launched this walking tour to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Meet an LGBTQ+ expert guide in Washington Square Park and follow them to historic sites like Julius' (one of the oldest gay bars in the city), the New York City AIDS Memorial, and of course, The Stonewall Inn. Tickets include a complimentary cocktail and an ice cream cone at Big Gay Ice Cream.

Outcinema (tickets from $30): From June 17 to June 19, the SVA Theater is hosting three evenings of LGBTQIA+ screenings, followed by Q&A sessions and open bar after-parties. Screenings include the East Coast premiere of Deep in Vogue and WIG, a documentary about Wigstock

Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: 50 Years After Stonewall (suggested admission is $16): Head to the Brooklyn Museum to see the works of 28 LGBTQ+ artists who were born after the 1969 Stonewall riots. The exhibition is on display through December 8. 

Camp: Notes on Fashion (donation-based admission for New York State residents; $25 for out-of-state visitors): This year's camp-themed Met Gala carries on into this exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nearly 200 objects are on display through September 8, including menswear, womenswear, drawings, sculptures, and more. 

Where to Stay During WorldPride:

Dozens of New York hotels have WorldPride packages and discounts. Here are some of our favorites. Rates are based on the lowest-available nightly rate during the last week of June. 

The Redbury New York: Book a stay at the Redbury New York and receive two complimentary welcome cocktails, a 1 p.m. checkout, and daily passes to Equinox (choose from either the the Gramercy or Park Avenue location). Tip: Don't miss an Instagram-worthy opportunity at night when the hotel’s entire exterior lights up in rainbow pride colors. Rates from $149 per night. 

Freehand New York: This property is located just two blocks from the starting point of the NYC Pride March. Book a stay anytime in June and save 20% on accommodations. Guests will also receive two complimentary cocktails at the hotel's bar, Broken Shaker. Rates from $258 per night. 

The William ValeTouted as Brooklyn's first true 5-star hotel, The William Vale in Williamsburg is offering a 20% savings on room rates throughout the entire month of June. All accommodations include a private balcony and access to the borough's largest swimming pool. At night, head up to the 22nd-floor bar to admire views of the Manhattan skyline as the Empire State Building and the One World Trade Center light up in rainbow colors. Rates from $288 per night. 

Kimpton Hotels: Kimpton’s upscale Manhattan hotels each have their own pride offerings. Some options include a stay at the Kimpton Ink48 Hotel in gay-friendly Hell’s Kitchen (rates from $151 per night) and the Kimpton Muse Hotel in Times Square (rates from $140 per night). If you're looking for additional perks, consider a stay at the Kimpton Hotel Eventi in NoMad. This property will offer guests pride-themed welcome amenities including cocktails, body paint, and rainbow cookies, as well as a $20 MTA subway card (rates from $187 per night). All three properties will donate $10 per night to The Trevor Project. 

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown: As an official hotel partner of WorldPride 2019, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown is offering a luxe package that includes two VIP tickets to WorldPride Opening Ceremony, overnight accommodations, two welcome cocktails at CUT by Wolfgang Puck, and a 4:00 p.m. checkout. Rates from $995 per night. To book, call the hotel directly. 

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