The Gay Pride parade originated in New York City and has been celebrated since the 1970s. The world-renowned Gay Pride Parade is Sunday, June 26th at noon from 36th Street & Fifth Avenue to Christopher & Greenwich Streets. The Gay Pride Parade is upbeat and festive drawing large crowds each year. Vibrant costumes are worn and the Gay Pride week is full of fun events for gay awareness and celebrating gay rights.
The original purpose of the parade was to commemorate the Stonewall Inn riots in 1969 where violent protests against the mistreatment of gays and lesbians were held against New York City police department. The parade still passes by the site each year in order to pay tribute to those who have stood up for gay rights in the past. During the Gay Pride Parade, a moment of silence is also held as a response to the issue of AIDS and the gay & lesbian movement.
Pridefest is the same day, the 26th and is from 11am to 7pm on Hudson Street between West 14th Street & Abingdon Square. The festival is an annual street fair and is celebrating its 18th year in 2011. The event is free and open to the public.