For over 40 years, the Worcester Pride Festival, a cornerstone of the week’s activities, has grown to become one of the most recognized and well-received LGBTQIA+ festivals in the Northeast, drawing crowds of around 20,000. The festival has previously called Crystal Park, Institute Park and Water Street home, with all activities now centralized on the city’s Worcester Common Oval, located directly behind Worcester City Hall.
Check out the following Worcester Pride 2019 events below to join in on all the fun! Plan to get out in the community and explore everything Worcester Pride has to offer. Use #MakeYourOwnHistory on social media and share what it is about Worcester that makes you proud.
Thursday / Aug. 29 / 3 PM - 8 PM / All Ages
New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, 11 French Drive, Boylston
New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill is celebrating Worcester Pride with a free, family friendly event celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies with crafts, informational resources, inculding guest speakers Professor Stephanie Yuhl of the College of the Holy Cross and Worcetser HIstoricla Musuem Community Engagement Director David Conner will discuss the discovery process of our LGBTQ+ Worcester FOR THE RECORD exhibit and catalog.
When Main Street Was Gay: A Walking Tour
Saturday / Aug. 31 / 12 PM / All Ages
Worcester PopUp, 20 Franklin Street
Join Worcester Historical Museum and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor, LGBTQ+ Worcester FOR THE RECORD co-curator, Joe Cullon, for a walking tour of LGBTQ+ Downtown Worcester. Follow the paths of early bar hoppers, community builders, cruisers, and Pride marchers as they cautiously and sometimes defiantly navigated the blocks around Worcester’s Main Street in pursuit of sociability,spiritual fellowship, sexual pleasure, and political rights between 1950s and 1990s. A digital companion to the tour will help bring the sites of early LGBTQ+ life to life through images and artifacts attesting to a time when Main Street was gay.
Worcester's Role During The Aids Crisis
Tuesday / Sept. 3 / 6PM / All Ages
Jim Voltz, executive director of AIDS Project Worcester from 1991-1996, along with MA State Senator Harriette L.Chandler and AIDS activist Carla Norris, will lead a discussion on the early days of the AIDS epidemic in Worcester, the establishment of APW, some of the early prominent leaders in the fight against AIDS in our community, the trauma still suffered by the generation that lost so many of its loved ones to the sickness, and the challenges that remain.
Wednesday / Sept. 4 / 7 PM - 8:30 PM / All Ages
Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm St, Worcester
Award-winning oral historian Eric Marcus of the LGBTQIA+ civil rights movement will bring the voices of LGBTQ+ history to life through intimate conversations.
Thursday / Sept. 5 / 3 PM - 4 PM / All Ages
City Hall, 455 Main Street, Worcester
Worcester Pride will be joined by community members, city officials, and parade Grand Marshals for the annual flag raising. Head to Buck's Whiskey & Burger Bar for a reception immediately following the event.
Thursday / Sept. 5 / 7 PM - 9 PM / All Ages
Burns Bridge, Turnpike, Worcester
Lake Quinsigamond will shine bright on this special pride night. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see the switch flipped and the array of rainbow colors illuminate the sky.
LGBTQIA+ Pride Pageant
Friday / Sept. 6 / 6 PM - 10 PM / Adults, 18+
El Basha Restaurant, 424 Belmont Street, Worcester
An evening of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent! Worcester Pride will bestow the following titles: Ms. Worcester Pride (self-identified female), Mr. Worcester Pride (self-identified male), Mx. Worcester Pride (self-identified gender neutral) and Miss Gay Worcester (traditional drag).
Saturday / Sept. 7 / 11 AM - 12 PM / All Ages
Institute Park, Salisbury Street and Park Avenue, Worcester
Worcester Pride officials, the LGBTQIA+ community, Worcester Historical Museum, and they LGBTQIA+ allies will celebrate pride by marching down Main Street to open the Pride Festival. The parade starts at Institute Park and ends on the Worcester Common Oval.
Saturday / Sept. 7 / 12 PM - 5 PM / All Ages
Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main Street, Worcester
Don’t miss the Worcester Pride Festival, an event that grows bigger every year. Enjoy a variety of craft vendors, live music and entertainment, food trucks, a kid friendly play area, and so much more.
Pride Tea Dance
Saturday / Sept. 7 / 5 PM - 8 PM / Adult, 21+
The Grid Beer Garden Pavillion, 64 Franklin St, Worcester
Dancing, refreshing drinks and an outdoor garden! DJ Joslyn Fox and DJ Kay Boogie will provide music and don’t forget to sample the 90+ Cellars Rosé & Bubbly Truck while you’re there.
Pride Festival Block Party
Saturday / Sept. 7 / 7 PM - 1 AM / Adult, 21+
MB Lounge, 40 Grafton Street, Worcester
The fun doesn’t stop after the festival ends. There will be plenty of drink and food specials, dancing, raffles and more at the Worcester Pride official Block Party.
Shades CommUNITY Mixer
Saturday / Sept. 7 / 6 PM – 8:30 PM / Adult, 21+
Bull Mansion, 55 Pearl Street, Worcester
Members of the local QTPOC community, allies, and other interested community members are welcome. Look forward to light refreshments, multicultural music, and a safe space to get to know one another.
Worcester Youth Pride Party
Saturday / Sept. 7 / 6 PM - 10 PM / Teen & Young 16-22
YWCA of Central Massachusetts, 1 Salem Square, Worcester
Youth attendees can look forward to performances by Worcester's premier drag queens, explore community resources and dance the night away.