Six Must-Do Indy Pride Festival Events

DJs and drag queens, warblers and ballers

Another June breeds another round of Circle City IN Pride Festival happenings. Some new events are on tap, with participants ranging from basketballers to warblers. Here are our go-to picks (in no particular order) for the remaining events—already in the rearview are a 5K, a bowling night, and a grand picnic-and-softball day—for the week and weekend at hand.

1. Pet Pride.  Woof! The dogs—and cats, and perhaps even more friendly beasts—are let out at Garfield Park to bring the city’s LGBT and allied population together with its furry “kids.”

Expect: Pet treats, vendors and food trucks, pools in which to cool off (not for you, humans!), and more.
June 9, 6–8 p.m. Garfield Park, 2425 Conservatory Dr. Free for all ages.

2. Pride Parade.  Officially christened years ago as the Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade, this event has grown from its humble beginnings in the 1980s to a full-fledged entertainment source on wheels. It’s got legs, too, stretching longer around Mass Ave and more downtown blocks with each additional year, and 150 floats, vehicles, and walking/marching groups have signed up for this one. Grand marshals: Layshia Clarendon, Megan Robertson, Rick Sutton, and Coby Palmer. Don’t know them? You should.

Expect: Plenty of performers, local notables, beautifully outfitted drag queens, and strapping young gents in vodka-brand–sponsored skivvies. There will be glitter.
June 14, 10 a.m. start at College and Mass aves, winding around to Meridian Street. Free for all ages.

3. Main-Day Festival.  Headlined in recent years by the likes of R&B chanteuses Mya and Deborah Cox, this year’s biggest event is likely to once again draw tens of thousands. (It’s seen 70K or more through the gates the past two years.) Performers will include a hodgepodge of talent both national and local.

Expect: Steve Grand singing, Luciana moving to a beat, DJ Dave Aude’s pop remixes, plus local entertainers from a few genres and persuasions.
June 14, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Veterans Memorial Plaza and American Legion Mall, inside Pennsylvania and Meridian, St. Clair and Michigan streets. Free for all ages ($5 suggested donation).

4. Diversity Night at the Indiana Fever Game.  Layshia Clarendon will later co–grand marshal the Pride parade, but first she and her teammates take on the Seattle Storm. Clarendon and head coach Lin Dunn will talk to assembled LGBT guests afterward, and Dunn is to be feted before the game with her own Basketball Hall of Fame entry after 40 years in the game.

Expect: Feverish fans regaling Dunn with tales. Also, Dunn regaling feverish fans with the same.
June 11, 7 p.m. Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St. Ticket prices vary. All ages.

5. Indianapolis Men’s Chorus Concert.  A 2013 Best of Indy winner, the IMC packs a riot of fun interpretations and dutiful classic performances into each show. Come for the stand-and-singing grandeur; stay for the dancing.

Expect: Boys! Boys! Boys! Good libations at the bar counters and good vibrations emanating from singers and live instruments alike.
June 13, 8 p.m. Marian University Theatre, 3200 Cold Spring Rd. Tickets $20 advance, $25 at the door. All ages.

6. Girl Pride.  Mary Lambert leads the roster of performers at this annual event, added in recent years and sold out in 2013. The Grammy-nominated singer recently made a self-described “fangirl” out of Amy Grant and other seasoned artists at the ASCAP songwriting showcase.

Expect: Lots of girls (duh)—and certainly a “She Keeps Me Warm” singalong at some point in the performance.
June 12, doors at 7 p.m. Talbott Street Nightclub, 2145 Talbott St. Tickets $20 presale ($18 Indy Pride members); $25 at the door. 21 and over.

Full festival schedule:

June 7: Rainbow 5K Run & Walk; Pride Bowl—complete
June 8: Community Picnic; Bat ‘n’ Rouge Softball Game—complete
June 9: Pet Pride
June 10: Pride of Indy Bands Concert; Movie Night
June 11: Diversity Night with the Fever
June 12: Girl Pride; Bag Ladies’ Loud & Proud Show
June 13: Indy Men’s Chorus Concert
June 14: Pride Parade; Main Festival Day

For more information, see the Circle City IN Pride website and mobile app.