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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

Three Pride events during Pride Month

From the annual pride festival to protests for LGBTQ+ rights, here are some ways to get involved.
Image by Ava Weinreis

The Twin Cities have a variety of pride events throughout June, from the annual Pride festival to protests for LGBTQ+ rights.

Here are three highlights for this year’s Pride Month events in Minneapolis.

Twin Cities Pride Festival (Loring Park, June 29-30)

Twin Cities Pride Festival, hosted in Loring Park, features a variety of entertainment, food vendors and community resources. 

As one of the largest pride festivals in the country, the Twin Cities Pride Festival is unique because admission is free. Kelsey Alto, director of programming for Twin Cities Pride, said the organization wants the festival to be as accessible as possible.

“We are the largest free pride festival in the world,” Alto said. “Most large fest pride festivals in the country are a ticketed event that you have to pay to get into, and we work really hard to make it a free event that’s accessible.”

This year’s festival will have more food and entertainment options than previous years. The festival has options for drag shows, concerts and dance parties throughout the weekend.

“The full festival is the 29th and the 30th in Loring Park along with the parade going down Hennepin Avenue,” Alto said. “This year we’ve grown to over 650 vendors, multiple food courts with food trucks. It’s really about finding community and getting connected with resources.”

Pride Icons Drag Brunch (Union Rooftop, June 28)

Flip Phone Events hosts drag shows in the Twin Cities year-round, and one of the many drag brunches they will host over Pride Month pays tribute to “Pride Icons” such as RuPaul and older stars like Diana Ross and Tina Turner.

Sasha Cassadine, drag show director at Flip Phone Events, said in addition to “a lot of dancing, a lot of happy drinking and nice food,” the drag brunch is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate gay pride.

“I just enjoy meeting all the different people and seeing people have a good time and celebrating their queerness out in the open, especially with everything that’s going on in our political world right now,” Cassadine said. “We have a lovely, lovely drag community here.”

Taking Back Pride (Downtown Minneapolis, June 30th)

Each year the Taking Back Pride Coalition marches in front of the Pride parade in Minneapolis to protest the involvement of corporations and police at Pride.

“Marching in front of the parade is how we direct that attention to what is going on day-to-day in queer people’s lives,” said Robyn Harbison, a member of Taking Back Pride.

The Coalition organizes peaceful protests and informational panels on an array of LGBTQ+ issues including transgender rights and police brutality every June, Harbison said. It was started by the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice in 2016.

The goal of the Coalition is to educate people about the true history of Pride and how other issues such as police brutality and Black liberation fit into it, Harbison added.

“Stonewall, which is why we have Pride in the first place, was a riot,” Harbison said.

Taking Back Pride hosts informational panels in May and June leading up to their protest at the pride parade, Harbison said. Past panel topics included the history of Pride and police presence. 

Their next panel discussion, No Pride in Genocide, is on June 14.

More information about the Taking Back Pride Coalition can be found on their Instagram and TikTok accounts. Harbison said the coalition welcomes new people who want to learn more.

“We’re just telling everybody to join us in the march,” Harbison said. “What we hope and ask of people is that they’re mindful of how they’re celebrating their own queer history.”

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