What to know about Pride 2018 (So far)
Oh honeyyyyy! Don't even pretend you haven't thought about Pride yet. OK, and even if you haven't, don't resist the idea of summer freak flag flying, riiight?
Now that the official Pride Guide has been launched we are ready to hand over the goods. There are some new happenings this, a new march, some new parties, the lifted rules and the first-ever Yohomo Pride stage! All the juicy details we've got about the festival so far are below.
A full month
Pride Toronto 2018 is happening for an entire month again this year, starting June 1 with a flag raising at City Hall. There are events happening all month long, but the big weekend begins Thursday, June 21 - Sunday, June 24. It might be the same weekend as NYC Pride - and many other Pride's in North America - but who cares! We have healthcare and have almost legalized weed, so where you going?
All marches and parades are on this year, and no police will be strolling, walking, driving, nothing, in any parade or march.
Pride Toronto's official theme this year is AIDS Activism. They've made a pretty cool video about it.
Brandy is this year's big headliner!!! While there's lots of other goodness coming (Blockorama is turning 20! Girl Play is throwing their 10th party! Yes Yes Y'all is bringing Bbymutha!) queen Brandy is the showstopper. She'll be opening the main festival weekend on Friday, June 22.
According to the Weather Network, as of today, Friday, April 20, temperatures in and around Pride look promising! Take a look at the long-term forecast below, and always remember that year it rained for like 36 hours straight and everything blew over. Never forget.
Are there any big changes this year? Not anything earth-shattering, but there are a few things to make note of.
Church closed even further
First off, the Church Street Festival is expanding its big gay footprint further south. Since the South Stage where Zipperz used to exist is now another bloody condo, Church will be closed even further south down towards Ryerson with an extra 14 blocks of programming! There'll even be a wellness zone that's to weed giant, Tweed.
The Black March
To honour the lives lost in the horrible Bruce McArthur murders this year, Pride has decided to end the Pride Parade on Sunday, June 24 with a sea of black. The barriers along the parade will be lifted and everyone will be welcome to march down Yonge Street to Dundas Square. Folks are encouraged to wear black and walk together in silence in tribute to the eight men the community lost.
This year Pride is introducing something called the Open Carry Program, which means we can now carry drinks more freely all over the Village. The areas are still designated, but they're much larger so that you don't feel like you're locked in a cage while sipping on your 12th beer.
Not sure if y'all have noticed, but our queer party scene is a very exciting thing right now, so while we don't have many solid confirmed events in our books, we're going to take a wild guess and say that this year's Pride footprint will extend way outside the village into many new and exciting spots. That being said, Pride's Church Street footprint is extending alllll the way down South to Gould Street.... and that's where you'll find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Yohomo's Pride Stage
That's right, witches! Yohomo has its very own stage at this year's Pride! Pride Saturday from 2pm-11pm we'll be filling the stage with our favourite DJs, Queens, Kings, performers and a very very special headlining guest to be announced very soon, we promise.
The parties announced so far already have us drooling. The usual suspects are back. Prism, Green Space, a beautifully diverse lineup of stages every day and night. Check the Official guide for all stage times and details. Then check back for our Pride Guide for an all-encompassing road map to every Pride party in Toronto over the big weekend.