After spending three months in Europe, I returned home to a sense of normalcy and, in all honesty, could not wait to get back on the road. The opportunity came up to head to Rhode Island for a Providence PrideFest experience and I quickly jumped on it. Heading in, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It’s a smaller Pride event in a smaller city and they can be hit or miss. As is the case when I make assumptions, my expectations didn’t match up with reality. My Providence PrideFest Experience exceeded expectations!
Providence, Rhode Island is a wonderful city. It’s located in the New England region of the United States and has pretty great weather during the warmer months of the year. As we drove and walked around the city, I was taken aback by its beauty and its cleanliness. Not only that, but the city has played home and host to some pretty famous literary figures such H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe. One of my favorite attractions in the city is the Providence Athenaeum which houses a great collection of really old books and was considered a favorite library by Poe himself. Aside from this, the city has plenty of green space, is fairly walkable, has incredible restaurants, and is relatively close to Boston and other cities by train. As you can tell, the city has a lot going for it and my Providence PrideFest experience was the cherry on top.
Now, I am a huge fan of supporting both the larger Pride events and the smaller ones too. But I typically go into smaller Pride events with my expectations set pretty low. It’s not that I think small cities can’t put on a good show; it’s just typically smaller Pride events have a more hometown feel to them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this either. It’s just a different environment but we definitely need smaller cities to keep putting on Pride events. The more LGBT representation, the better! Nevertheless, my Providence PrideFest experience was like no other and I highly recommend you add this to your roster for next year’s Pride season.
AND you have the added bonus of going in with a bit of know how! Check out these tips I learned while celebrating during my own Providence PrideFest experience…and then go let your flag fly!
*When you head to Pride, you’ll need a nice hotel! Check out these recommendations that’ll make your Pride experience even more luxurious!
Providence PrideFest Experience in a City of Tolerance
Providence is such a cool place for a plethora of reasons but its history is just as interesting. It was founded by Roger Williams who was exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony due to his religious beliefs. The city quickly became a refuge for persecuted religious dissenters. Not only that, but the city was also one of the first to fight during the American Revolution and Rhode Island was the last state to sign the US Constitution because the state wanted to assure a Bill of Rights was included. This attitude of tolerance and justice has carried over into modern times as the city, in general, has a very “come as you are” attitude.
Providence PrideFest Experience is Bigger than You Expect.
Yeah, I was actually pretty surprised by the number of events going on throughout the city. For such a small city, the quantity of choices during Providence PrideFest is pretty impressive. You won’t be able to attend them all and that’s totally OK. It’s an incredible show of support for the LGBT Community…especially since Providence Pride practically shuts down the entire city. It also felt pretty safe and the local police force is fully supportive of Pride.
Providence PrideFest Experience with Block Parties
Block parties are the name of the game during PrideFest. You will hear about one here, there, and everywhere. If you want to celebrate and have a blast then you have to make it to some of the block parties. Celebrating Pride outside under the night sky beats everything else. The largest block party, hosted by Ego, and takes up about three blocks going the whole nine yards with laser lights, go-go dancers, and incredible house music. These parties are not to be missed!
Providence PrideFest Experience in a Beautiful Setting
The actual Providence PrideFest festival takes place along a beautiful stretch of road adjacent to the river. You can explore all the local LGBT community as well as advocates have to offer, grab drinks, and have some snacks while you stroll through the beautiful setting. The view of the Providence skyline is a must-see from this vantage point and you won’t miss it. Definitely make time to participate in the day activities just as much as the nightlife.
Providence PrideFest Experience an Illuminated Night Parade
One of the coolest things about Providence PrideFest is its parade. Most places have their parade in the middle of the day which is totally cool. But Providence changed it up and hosts an illuminated night parade. Something about watching a parade at night makes it all the more fun! All the floats are pretty creative with how they illuminate themselves and it just feels like a really big party.
* Check out Columbus Ohio, another surprisingly gay US city!
Will you have your own Providence PrideFest Experience?
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