Pride Week: 8 things to see and do besides the big parade

Categories: Festivals
Photo by Wijadi Jodi
Nadine DuBois, ShannonBlowtorch, and Sweetpea for Grown & Sexy Pride
It's been a good year for the LGBTQ community here in Minnesota. The marriage amendment has been defeated, same-sex marriage is legal, and Michelle Bachmann is on her way out. So there's all kinds of things to celebrate. In addition to the big parade on Sunday, here are some great events and things to see and do around town during this week of jubilation.

Grown & Sexy Pride

One of the biggest parties this year is Grown & Sexy Pride at First Avenue. Here, DJ Shannon Blowtorch, Sweetpea, and Nadine Dubois will be doing what they do best: orchestrating a madly fun party full of dancing, burlesque, and drag. This year's shindig features special guest Raja, winner of season three's RuPaul's Drag Race, plus burlesque performers Iva Handfull from Seattle and Bazuka Joe and Ray Gunn from Chicago. There will also be performances by Dykes do Drag and awesome dance music.

Grown and Sexy Pride
9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday
$12/$15 at the door
First Avenue

Jake Thompson
No Pride week is complete without a stop at Queertopia, the annual cabaret performance presented by Bedlam Theatre and Intermedia Arts. The performance series began in 2006, when it was started by Outward Spiral Theatre Company, Eleanor Savage, and Intermedia Arts. Since then, the eclectic evening of queer expression comes through each year with some entertaining shenanigans and thought-provoking pieces.

This year promises to be no different. Hosted by Go Go Pimp Tif, the lineup includes nationally known choreographer Karen Sherman, burlesque performer Queenie Von Curves, spoken-word artist Kevin Kaoz Moore, and the outrageous Jeffry Lusiak, who co-curated the event with Nastalie Bogira. Also taking the stage will be performance artist Jake Thompson, poet and performance artist Andrea Jenkins, Joey Clark with YOUTH PRIDE, and Paige Collette, who always comes up with provocative and interesting work.

7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday
$12/$15 at the door
Intermedia Arts
2822 S. Lyndale Ave., Minneapolis; 612.871.4444
Make your reservations here

Uptown Pride Block Party
Photo by Sasha Landskov
Get your Pride weekend started off right by stopping by the Uptown Pride Block Party, a chance to soak up some sun and enjoy great entertainment for free. MC'd by the one and only Foxy Tann, the music lineup includes the sweet sounds of Chastity Brown plus L'Assassins, Epitome No Question, Southside Desire, and Sick of Sarah. You'll be able to check out the wonderful Dykes do Drag onstage as well, plus the North Star Roller Girls and Tipsy Bike Karoake will also be there.

Come hungry and thirsty, because there'll be plenty of yummy organic, local food and good brews. A portion of the event's proceeds benefit OutFront Minnesota, and it's a zero-waste event partnering with Eureka Recycling so you can feel good about having a good time.

Uptown Pride Block Party
6-10 p.m. Friday
At the corner of Bryant Avenue and Lake Street, right outside Bryant-Lake Bowl

Love Free or Die documentary screening
Photo by Gillian Laub
Gene Robinson
On Friday, St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral on Loring Park will be screening the award-winning documentary Love Free or Die. The film follows the story of Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop. Robinson was consecrated in 2003, where he wore a bullet-proof vest to the ceremony. The film follows his journey as he confronts bigotry and stands up for the equality of all LGBTQ individuals. The piece won the Audience Award at the New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for an Agent of Change at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. Robinson will be on hand for the screening, and will participate in a discussion afterwards. 


Love Free or Die
7 p.m. Friday
St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral
 for more info, or visit

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