Eleven more days when this city welcomes thousands of revelers to the World Pride Toronto 2014. Rainbow crossings at Church Street (aka The Gay Village) are already laid out and ubiquitous rainbow flags are hanging proud. Print and billboard ads of sponsors are ready to celebrate and party with the rest of the fabulous crowd.
This ten-day (June 20-29) celebration of diversity can be overwhelming for the visitors who won’t stay longer in the city. Even for the locals, like me, it’s so hard to pick the events not to miss at World Pride Toronto 2014. The best part of the celebration happens on the second Pride Weekend where the best of the best shows are packed in a three-day marathon of incredible performances that bring out the feather boas, beads, happy feet, good vibes, sultriness, washboard abs, glitter, leather, wigs and plain, old camaraderie among friends and strangers.
Here are my top events not to miss at World Pride Toronto 2014!
I would never forgive myself if I won’t be at the Opening Ceremony. World Pride and TD Toronto Jazz Festival merge powers for a night of grand spectacle of music and pure entertainment. Who would miss the Grammy-Award winner Melissa Etheridge, the foxy and multi-platinum selling entertainer Deborah Cox and the delicious Steve Grand?
Where and when: Nathan Phillips Square / June 20 / 7:00 PM / FREE
Lately, the Trans community is abuzz with all sorts of news. They’re all over the media now. And this is good. It creates awareness about their plight, struggles and dreams. Soon, the label “invisible children” to people like them will be gone. So, go there and support the transgender community. And, oh, stay after the parade. The trans men and women will prove their worth by showing off their incredible talents at Yonge-Dundas Square Stage. Prepare to be awed!
Where and when: Rally at 7:00 PM / Parade at 8:00 PM/ June 27 / Friday / FREE
Be there, simply, because the dykes are awesome! No, they are not a threat to your masculinity or lack thereof. See them on their cool bikes leading the parade. My friend doesn’t like the word dyke (she prefers lesbians) because it sounds intimidating—but duh, she’s one big dyke! LOL…
Where and and when: Allan Gardens (Church Street and Carlton Street) / 1:00 P.M. / FREE
All things fabulous, fierce and PHAT (pretty hot and tasty) assemble in a 3-4 hour long parade that culminates the 10-day celebration. Expect to see things that may shock or make you gasp for “Oh, ah, whoaaaa!”. Men in uniforms? Hot. Trojan warriors in their skimpy leather skirt giving away free condoms? Delish. Twinks? Slurpy. Bears and leathermen? Ouch! Porn stars? OMG! Drags? Fierce. LGBT Allies? Awesome. Hot boys showing flesh? Many. And many more.
Get your beads, garlands, fans, stickers, flags and camera ready! And of course, show your fabulous or fierce side, too!
Where and when: Starts at Bloor and Church Street / 1:00 PM / June 29 / Sunday / FREE
To be presented by MTV, Pop Goes Pride brings “Call Me Maybe” singer, Carly Jepsen and other pop singers: Dragonette, Fefe Dobson and Molly Thomason. Get your booties movin’, girl!
Where and when: TD Wellesley Stage, right in front of Wellesley Subway Station exit / 7:00 PM / June 27 / Friday FREE – but get there early. You won’t be allowed to go inside when it’s over capacity.
Black LGBT and their lovers gather together to show their pride. For 16 years, Blackorama is designed to celebrate, affirm and ensure visible black community within Pride. Drag divas and awesome DJs will spin and keep the crowd entertained.
Where and when: June 29 / 12:00 noon – 11:00 PM / FREE
FREE – but get there early. You won’t be allowed to go inside when it’s over capacity.
Are you a rice queen? Then, come and check out this party of everything Asian. We’re cute and flawless. Do I need to say more? LOL…
Where and when: June 29 / 6:00 PM / Air Canada Stage on Church and Wellesley Street / FREE
In this event, LGBT heroes will be honored for their unceasing support and indefatigable fight for equality and human dignity. This is pretty expensive event that will cost you around $1,000. Unfortunately for you, tickets are all sold out now. And that also means you’ll miss the performance of Canada’s national treasure, KD Lang.
Where and when: Arcadian Court / 401 Bay Street / 8th Floor
Can you imagine a beach party minus the sands and beach–but with the hottest men all over the world, only in their low-waist swimming trunks? Drooling? Then, buy your tickets now and feast your eyes on God’s beautiful creations and party with them while pinching or caressing their washboard abs to the core—permission needed though. LOL…
Get your swimsuit/trunks ready and get yourself wet at the fountains! And oh, sultry Carmen Carrera and delicious DJs will make it a Pride to remember! Prism parties are the best!
Where and when: June 28 / Saturday / Noon ’till 8 PM / Yonge and Dundas Square
Buy tickets .
Sassy and fierce, Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 6 favorites will be hosting live performances on board a cruise around Harbourfront. Be entertained by the fabulous girls: Adore Delano, Courtney Act, Darren Lake and Bianca del Rio (Season 6 winnah!). This is your chance to mingle with the stars of the drag world!
To book, call Rainbow High Vacations.
When and where: June 27 / Friday / 8:00 PM / Cruise
When hot DJs and super fab divas collide, guess, what happens? Wild party and non-stop entertainment! What’s more exciting than dancing in the parking lot that turns into a dance floor?
Where and when: OLG Central Stage / Church and Maitland Streets / 2:00 PM to late / June 29 / Sunday / FREE
Toronto will beat Brazil’s same-sex mass wedding record by rolling out the rainbow carpet to 200 gay couples who will exchange vows and undying love to each other at the garden of the city’s historical castle, Casa Loma. Well, technically, you really can’t go inside without being invited.
So, forget about this as an event not to be missed. I’m just putting this up FYI. 🙂
Out and proud superstar, Chely Wright, and JUNO-nominee Amanda Rheaume will make your afternoon unforgettable. This event is for those who are into country, folk and traditional music.
Where and when: Bud Light South Stage / 436 Curch Street / 2:00 PM / June 28 / FREE
If there’s one drag show you shouldn’t miss, let this be. Drag stars from Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Season 6, will be delighting the crowd with their hair! You don’t wanna miss that, right?
Where and when: Cawthra Square Park / June 26 / 7:00 PM – midnight / FREE
Right after the Pride Parade which will end in Yonge and Dundas Square, the closing ceremony begins. Tegan and Sara will lead the line-up of performers expected to get the crowd wild and on their feet.
Where and when: Yonge and Dundas Square / June 29 / 5:00 PM / FREE
There will be many outdoor stages around the Gay Village and downtown Toronto from June 27-29 (3 days/Friday-Sunday). Check out these stages for they’re always up for something: TD Wellesley Stage, OLG Central Stage, Bud Light, Air Canada Village Stage and Molson Canadian Stage at Yonge-Dundas Square. Cawthra Park (next to 519) and Ryerson Quad will also host spectacular parties you won’t forget soon.
For more schedule of the events not to miss at World pride Toronto 2014, click here.
NOTE: Photos in this blog entry are taken from previous Pride Parades in Toronto
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