June is here, and the spirit of LGBT Pride is palpable. The parties are already happening across New York, and there’s plenty of buildup leading to the Pride parade on June 25. Nobody does gay pride like Manhattan, that’s for sure—except maybe San Francisco.
But what if huge crowds give you anxiety? The other four boroughs in New York also offer Pride events throughout the month. Of particular interest is Brooklyn Pride on June 10.
Here’s why you should give Brooklyn Pride a try this year.
Brooklyn Pride Is Smaller
There’s an unmistakable intimacy to Brooklyn Pride, which runs along 5th Avenue in Park Slope. In an effort to create community for local LGBT people, Brooklyn Pride, Inc. was established in 1996. It’s grown so much over the years but hasn’t lost sight of its roots.
There are activities that precede the march. If you feel like working up a bit of a sweat, there’s still time to register for the Brooklyn Pride 5K Run and Walk.
There’s also a festival, where you’ll find all kinds of vendors. Local, national, and international artists perform on the main stage from noon to 6 p.m. You’ll find the stage at 4th Street Plaza, just off 5th Avenue.
There Are Family-Friendly Activities
You’ll find all ages of people at NYC Pride, but it’s very much an adult affair. Brooklyn Pride is a good alternative for families with younger children.
Starting at 11 a.m., check out the Family Fun Zone at Old Stone House/J.J. Byrne Park. There’s plenty to keep the little ones happy like face painting, arts and crafts, and storytime. Once the kids are tired out, you can leave them with a sitter and return for the march later on.
The March Is Smaller, But Still A Vibe
Whether you’re in the parade yourself or just watching, a good time is promised. Unlike the main parade in Manhattan, it takes place in the evening, around 7:30 p.m. Starting on 5th Avenue and Lincoln Place, the march disperses on 9th Street. At least that’s what’s meant to happen. Sometimes people insist on dancing in the street for much longer than planned.
Brooklyn Pride isn’t just concerned with revelry. Before the march, there’s usually a moment of silence to remember those lost to AIDS. After that, it’s on. Dykes on Bikes, cheer squads, and various floats are part of the procession. Speakers blast every kind of music you can imagine, from dancehall to disco anthems.
In Manhattan, you may need an act of Congress to help you navigate the crowds. In Brooklyn, it’s much easier to move away when you’ve had your fill.
There Are Some Nice Local Bars To Support
Manhattan has bars on top of bars, but it can be hell trying to get to those on or near the parade route. Just ask Stonewall.
If you want to imbibe, head to Ginger’s Bar, which is right on 5th Avenue. It’s one of the few remaining lesbian bars in New York, but all are welcome. Patrons can take advantage of the outdoor patio, or shoot some pool.
If you still have gas left in the tank, you won’t have any trouble finding an after-party. Whether you go to Brooklyn Pride or not, enjoy this Pride season!