Things to do in the DC area: Pride events, Taste of Peru … and more!

Spectators watch the Capital Pride Parade in Washington, DC, on June 10, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images/ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

During Pride Month, people from all walks of life around the country can come together as activists and allies. It’s during this time that many celebrate the progress made so far by the LGBTQIA community, as well as continue to spread the message of equality and work toward a better future.

In an interview with WTOP, Sahand Miraminy, director of operations at Capital Pride Alliance, said that this is a very important time for pride.

“There’s times where people often asked if pride is still necessary, and I think with a lot of the legislation going on around the country, and certainly around the world … [it] not only reminds us that it’s important to have pride, and important to sort of make our community visible, but it’s also important to celebrate the rights that we are currently enjoying. Certainly more than what those who have come before us have experienced,” Miraminy said.

For those in search of pride events coming up in the D.C. area, check out this varied list of parades and parties, book talks and art exhibitions as well as trivia events and walking tours.

There’s so much to do in the D.C. area in the coming days, and WTOP has you covered with our weekly roundup of area events worth anticipating. This week, WTOP covers a wide variety of LGBTQIA events around the region and throughout the month of June.

Check back every Thursday for a roundup of Things to do in the D.C. area.

The essential parades, parties, festivals and concerts

The official opening dance party of Capital Pride is on June 7 with RIOT!, featuring a varied lineup of performers, including “Rupaul’s Drag Race” star Sapphira Cristál. Tickets for this 18+ event start at $37.

For the annual Block Party on June 8, head to Dupont Circle along 17th Street NW for food, drinks, music and activities. That same day, don’t miss the Capital Pride Parade by taking to the streets in the fight for equality. This year, the parade route will not go through Dupont Circle, but will follow along 14th Street NW before ending at Pennsylvania Avenue at 9th Street NW.

On June 9, the Capital Pride Festival will have over 300 participating organizations, social groups, businesses and more along Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Expect two food courts and three beverage gardens, plus live entertainment.

The Capital Pride Concert at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue NW and 3rd Street NW will have performers like Ava Max, Billy Porter and others performing throughout the day on June 9.

The Capital Pride Alliance is honoring outstanding individuals and activists for their work in the LGBTQIA community on May 31 at the Capital Pride Honors event. The event is at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, with tickets for those 21 and over. Tickets start at $49.

For a rooftop pool party you shouldn’t miss, head to the Penthouse Pool and Lounge in Southeast D.C. on June 5. Enjoy music and mingling, as well as cocktails and appetizers. Attendees must be 21 and over. Tickets start at $25. For another pool party option at the same venue, head to the Capital Pride Trans Pool Party on June 8. Tickets are currently sold out, but you can still get on the waitlist.

Multiple DJs will spin pride anthems at The Square in D.C. alongside several live performers for the “official sapphic/queer dance party,” known as Pride Rewind on June 8. General admission tickets for those between the ages of 18 and 20 cost $20 and tickets for those 21 and over cost $35.

Next up, don’t miss the fifth annual Pride on the Pier event on June 8 at The Wharf. This free event offers a DJ, dancing and adult beverages, plus a fireworks show at 9 p.m.

At the Filene Center venue in Vienna, Virginia, the Out & About Festival on June 22 will celebrate Pride Month with three stages of sensational performers. This year, guests will enjoy performances from Grammy-winning artist Brittany Howard, plus Jenny Lewis, Lawrence, Kim Gordon and others. Tickets start at $49 for lawn tickets.

Elsewhere, the City of Rockville, Maryland, is hosting their pride celebration on June 2 at Rockville Town Square. The free event is open to all ages with live performances and children’s activities.

Finally, in Arlington, Virginia, head to Water Park in National Landing on June 1 for a pride kickoff block party. The event offers music, vendors, drag karaoke and more.

Dances, art exhibitions, book talks and tours

The Night of Queer Expression event on June 3 is hosting a diverse variety of voices with professional spoken-word performers, open-mic rookies and more. The event is at the Brookland location of Busboys and Poets with tickets that start at $20.

On June 29 and 30, Little District Books is hosting Lavender Con, a book festival celebrating LGBTQIA authors and stories. Expect a vendor market as well as several sessions with author panels.

Embark on a walking tour of the nation’s capital that focuses on the persecution and liberation of the city’s LGBTQIA community. The two-and-a-half-hour tour meets at Farragut Square and costs $25 with several dates throughout the month.

Drag queen, TV personality and singer-songwriter Trixie Mattel is set to DJ at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland, on June 7. Tickets start at approximately $55.

Experience diverse artists at Shop Made in D.C.’s latest art exhibition, “PROUD.” The free opening reception is on May 31 with the exhibition running through June 30.

Profs and Pints D.C. is hosting a lecture on the influence and depiction of queerness in horror films on June 4. The event at Penn Social in D.C. is led by May Santiago, adjunct professor of film studies at George Mason University and producer of the podcast “Horrorspiria.” Tickets cost approximately $15.

The Fiction D.C. social group is hosting an event on June 8 with dancing across two floors at Safari DC, plus local vendors. Tickets cost $12.

Food-focused events and everything else to stay aware of

Brunch it up by pre-gaming before the Pride Parade on June 8 at Viceroy in D.C. Expect a buffet and mimosas for those 21 and older. Tickets cost $70 with two drink tickets or $85 with bottomless mimosas.

On June 8, at the end of the Capital Pride Parade route, experience an outdoor dance party with musical hits from the ’80s and ’90s. The Flashback Tea Dance event is expected to offer a widespread DJ lineup, plus “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stars Aquaria and Naomi Smalls gracing the stage.

For a night of laughter, go to Penn Social on June 8 for the Capital Pride Roast. Tickets cost $10 for early admission and $15 for those paying at the door.

And for those who are in search of more “queer-ious” events, head to Metrobar on June 6 for Pride Trivia.

Here’s what else is happening in the D.C. area.


New Kitchens On The Block
For its 10th edition, the New Kitchens on the Block event returns to Mess Hall in Northeast D.C. On June 1, attendees will be able to savor food and cocktails from some of the city’s most notable chefs at eight restaurants before they open. Tickets cost $119 for general admission and $159 for VIP tickets.

Taste of Peru
Head to the University of the District of Columbia for a daylong event filled with pisco sours and Peruvian flavors. This Sunday, June 2, Taste of Peru is offering live cooking demonstrations, live music, traditional dance performances and authentic Peruvian food. Tickets cost $17.


Flying V Fights: Technical Difficulties
The Silver Spring Black Box Theatre on Saturday, June 1, is hosting a “single elimination tournament” featuring “comic book action” pro-wrestling. The event in Silver Spring, Maryland, is hosted by Flying V, a nerd and pop culture performing arts organization. Tickets cost $30 for general admission or $35 for front row admission.

Mixtape 2: An Aerial Retrospective
On Sunday, June 2, UpSpring Studio is hosting their 10th anniversary show with trapeze, sling and vertical fabric performances. There will be a reception following the event. Tickets cost $25.

World Heritage Festival
Enjoy arts and crafts, food vendors and live DJs at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring, Maryland, this Sunday, June 2. The World Heritage Festival is expected to run from the early afternoon to the evening with free general admission. The event is pet friendly and is on rain or shine.


A Conversation with Pilot Tammie Jo Shults
Tammie Jo Shults was one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy and made history when she safely landed Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 after it suffered uncontained engine failure. Shults is set to discuss her adventure of a lifetime at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, on Thursday, May 30. The event is free and requires a reservation, but it will also be streamed online.

Strawberry Jubilee Festival
Great Country Farms in Loudoun County, Virginia, is hosting the 31st annual Strawberry Jubilee Festival on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2. Enjoy picking your own strawberries in its fields, plus cider doughnuts, scones, a “Lil’ Sprout Float Parade” for kids and a pie eating contest. Tickets cost $15 for general admission and $13 for children and seniors.

Festival Argentino
Celebrate Argentine culture at Kenmore Theater in Arlington, Virginia, on Saturday, June 1. The 37th Festival Argentino event is expected to offer traditional music and dance performances with advance tickets that cost $25, day-of tickets that cost $35 and children’s tickets that cost $15.

Have an event you’d like featured in WTOP’s Things to do in the D.C. area weekly guide? Fill out this contact form to have your event considered.

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Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain’s reporting has focused primarily on the D.C. area, previously working as Editor of Curbed DC for Vox Media and Audience Growth & Engagement Editor for Washington City Paper. She is the author of “D.C. by Metro: A History & Guide.” She also reports for 'Artsplained' on YouTube.

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