June is here, and with that comes Pride Month, celebrating members of the LGBTQ+ community and their accomplishments. The movement began in June of 1969, where members of the LGBTQ+ community and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City stood up against police harassment and persecution of community members. Now, the month hosts celebrations of all kinds including parades, concerts, drag shows, picnics and much more. Though the most notable Pride commemoration may be in New York City, the Garden State is also home to plenty of festivities, both during and outside the month of June. Here are 13 New Jersey Pride events to get you started.
1. Pride Night Baseball Game – Lakewood, NJ
The Jersey Shore BlueClaws take on the Brooklyn Cyclones for the second annual pride night celebration on June 4 at 7:05 p.m. There will be a rainbow baseball cap giveaway to the first 1,500 fans and fireworks after the game. Teammates will even wear special jerseys to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. BlueClaws Team President Joe Ricciutti said, “We want to show the LGBT community that they are welcome at BlueClaws games, and always will be welcome at BlueClaws games.”
Purchase tickets online here.
2. Pride in the Park Flag Raising – Glen Rock, NJ
Head to Glen Rock’s Wilde Memorial Park on June 5 at 12 p.m. to watch the fifth annual Pride in the Park flag-raising ceremony. Glen Rock Pride Committee is hosting the event, where they’ll read a proclamation about the LGBTQ+ community. After the ceremony, the rainbow pride flag will fly for the entire month of June.
3. Under the Stars Drag Show: PRIDE Extravaganza – Collingswood, NJ
Join Scottish Rite Auditorium and Drag Queen Entertainment for the Under the Stars Drag Show: PRIDE Extravaganza on June 5 at 7 p.m. in Collingswood. The event will take place on the mansion’s front porch where spectators can bring their own chairs to enjoy the event.
This event is available to those 18 years old and older, with a full bar available to those over 21. The show sold out last year, so make sure to secure your tickets now.
Celebrate at sea with the Pride Month Cruise, setting sail on June 6 at 12 p.m. from Atlantic Highlands. The cruise will host LGBTQ+ small business vendors, drumming performances from Crystal Percussion, and a DJ set lasting until 6 p.m. There will be dancing all day long, so be ready to party.
Guests must be 21 years or older to attend. Tickets cost $45 each.
5. Pride Parade – Haddon Township, NJ
March and celebrate during Haddon Township’s Pride Parade on June 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. The event features over 40 local organizations, with performances from Haddon Township High School and Haddonfield High School marching bands, appearances from drag queens, and more. The route will start on Strawbridge Avenue and end on Crystal Lake Avenue.
Interested paraders can RSVP to the event on Facebook.
6. Rainbow Pride – Boonton, NJ
Boonton’s Rainbow Pride is filled with events. Head out to Grace Lord Park on June 12 from 12 to 8 p.m. where it will kick off with a presentation from Mayor Richard Corcoran III. Then, the group will walk up Main Street where participants can grab lunch or a “Pride Plate Special” from one of the local restaurants or shops. The walk will end at the park where people can picnic, participate in the interactive art exhibits, and listen to music and presenters.
7. Pride Festival – Toms River, NJ
Celebrate down the shore at the third annual Downtown Toms River Pride festival on June 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m on Washington Street. The event kicks off with an opening ceremony at 11 a.m. and includes a drag show at 4 p.m., live performances, giveaways, shopping and more festivities. The B98.5 radio station will even be there to keep the music going all day.
8. Pride Stride 2021 – Montclair, NJ
Montclair’s third annual Fleet Feet Pride Stride Run and Walk will be held on June 17 at 6 p.m., where proceeds will be donated to OUT Montclair, an LGBTQ+ encouraging organization. The 5k will start and finish at Montclair Brewery and feature a celebration at the brewery’s outdoor beer garden.
The event is also available for virtual participants, with a similar 5k route and a promo code for 10 percent off a $10 or more purchase at Montclair Brewery.
To participate, register with your “QuaranTeam” (a group between two and eight people) for seating at a table. The event is limited to 100 participants.
9. An Evening of Dueling Pianos – Online event
Can’t attend any of these New Jersey Pride events in person? No fear–there are still options. The State Theatre of New Jersey’s LGBTQ Community Engagement Committee is hosting an online Evening of Dueling Pianos on June 17 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Two alumni from Berklee College of Music, Debbie Christin Tjong and Nate Hopkins, will participate in an audience-interactive dueling performance with special guests, giveaways and more.
To access the Zoom link, attendees must donate at least $15 to the theatre’s community engagement programs.
10. Morris County Pride – Morristown, NJ
For the second year in a row, Morristown is hosting the Morris County Pride event at the Morris Museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on June 26. There’s plenty to look forward to such as drag shows and music, food and other vendors, and children’s events such as a magician.
Admission is free for children under 10 and $8 for anyone older. Tickets can be purchased here.
11. Jersey City Pride Festival – Jersey City, NJ
It’s Jersey City Pride’s twentieth anniversary, and they have a jam-packed month of New Jersey pride events leading up to the festival on Aug. 21 located at the Headroom LGBTQ+ Lounge. The celebrations will take place at multiple indoor and outdoor Jersey City venues to ensure as much participation as possible while following COVID-19 guidelines.
More details about the festival are set to release later this summer.
Later this year
12. South Jersey Gay Pride – Cherry Hill, NJ
It’s never too late to celebrate. On Sept. 12 from 12 to 6 p.m, Cherry Hill is hosting the 13th annual Jersey Gay Pride at Cooper River Park. Participants are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and tables. Admission is free, but the organization is accepting donations.
13. Jersey Pride Festival – Asbury Park, NJ
After last year’s virtual celebration, Asbury Park’s pride celebration is back–and it’s rain or shine. The event will be held on Oct. 10 from 12 to 7 p.m. Details about the event will be released closer to the date.
Will you be attending any of these New Jersey Pride events? Let us know in the comments below.
Main photo by Mercedes Mehling