This year's Pride festivities will include the special celebration of the recent striking-down of the DOMA and Prop 8 laws. Another special element is that Rochester Pride's producer, The Gay Alliance, will be celebrating its 40th year. What better way to mark the "ruby anniversary" than with a "Wizard of Oz" theme: "There's No Place Like Pride!" So click your heels three times and immerse yourself in fun, floats, music, glitz, history, glamour, family activities, food, drink, and more, all taking place Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21. The following Pride and peripheral events take place this weekend. For more events, visit our online calendar at rochestercitynewspaper.com.
ROC Pride Games: New to this year, this sports invitational includes an ice-hockey tournament and Roller Derby bouts. In future years, the Games are expected to expand to include volleyball, softball, and more. ROC Pride Games kick off on Friday, July 19.
Ice Hockey: Friday, July 19, noon-8 p.m., Saturday, July 20, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and Sunday, July 21, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bill Gray's Iceplex, Monroe Community College (1000 E. Henrietta Road). Free admission.
Roc City Roller Derby: "Somewhere Over the Painbow." The Yellow Brick Rollers vs. The Ruby Red Skaters. Friday, July 19, 7-10 p.m.: "Friends of Dorothy" and Saturday, July 20, 5-8 p.m.: "The Wizard of OzSome." Bill Gray's Iceplex, Monroe Community College (1000 E. Henrietta Rd.). $10 general admission, $15 suicide seats, available at Wegmans, Parkleigh, and rocderby.com.
For more information visit rocpridegames.com.
Pride Rainbow Ride: Friday, July 19, beginning at 5:15 p.m., cyclists will bring a rainbow of colors through the Neighborhood of the Arts, and Park Ave., South Wedge, and Corn Hill neighborhoods to Manhattan Square Park to kick off Pride. Check rochesterpride.com for the full route.
Pride Flag Raising: Friday, July 19, 6-7 p.m., at Manhattan Square Park, which is the festival's base this year.
Pride Festival: Saturday, July 20, beginning with Family Fest hours at noon at Manhattan Square Park. Free admission, includes family- and senior-friendly activities including games, arts & crafts, live entertainment, and children's stage performances. The LGBT History Pavilion will house an exhibit spanning the years from pre-Stonewall to current-day Rochester and around the globe, presented in panels, hands-on displays, pictures, video clips, memorabilia, and more. Food and merchandise vendors will be on site until 3:30 p.m. Family Fest hours are also alcohol-free.
Entrance to the Pride Festival 3:30-9 p.m. will be $10 in advance and $15 at the gate, and includes music, dancing, food, beer garden, and more. Live music includes the Spiritus Christi Gospel Choir, The Jimmie Highsmith Experience and GrandCrew, Bette Midler Tribute Artist Donna Maxon, Rochester Gay Men's Chorus, and Pandora Boxx. Recording artist Dev will be the headliners.
24th Annual Pride Parade: Saturday, July 20, 3 p.m. on Park Avenue. The parade winds through Rochester's East End as it makes it way to Festival grounds at Manhattan Square Park. Prizes will be given for the best Parade floats.
40th Annual Gay Community Picnic Fundraiser: Sunday, July 21, 1-7 p.m. at Genesee Valley Park (1000 E River Road). Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate, and can include entrance only, or include food and beer ($20 advance, $25 at the gate), or just food ($15 advance, $20 at the gate). The event features music, food, and family activities which will include a bounce house, carnival games, a storyteller, dancing, and electronic game contests. Enter the retro 70's-themed best dressed Picnic Site contest.
New to this year's celebration is the Ruby VIP Pass, which includes access to all ticketed events, discounts at local merchants, exclusive entrance to a VIP reception, and advance viewing of the History Exhibit. Ruby Passes are $50 and can be purchased at rocheterpride.com. Festival and picnic tickets can be purchased at rochesterpride.com and cash-only at The Bachelor Forum, Equal Grounds, Parkleigh, and Outlandish Gifts.