Pride & Joy: West Michigan LGBTQ+ Festivals

Pride is growing across West Michigan as more and more communities want to promote inclusivity and equality, showcase the region’s diversity, and just have a gay time!

Multiple towns in the area have started up their own festivals in just the past year or two, and we’re excited to watch them come out swinging with huge success already. If you’re wondering where to celebrate your pride this summer, here’s a handy guide for you!

Grand Rapids Pride
Calder Plaza  |  June 22, 12-10 p.m.  |

Grand Rapids Pride is one of the largest and most anticipated events in West Michigan. Organized by the Grand Rapids Pride Center, this annual celebration takes over Calder Plaza with a full day of theater, drag performances, dance floors, aerial dancers, and burlesque—not to mention more than 100 vendor booths, a beer garden that includes non-alcoholic drinks, and a family-friendly area with activities for the kids and teens. It’s not only a celebration, but also a fundraiser to support the Pride Center’s year-round programs and services for the LGBTQ+ community. This year, the headliner is nationally recognized hip-hop artist, TV personality, and cultural influencer Big Freedia, featured on Beyonce’s single “Break My Soul.” Plus, you can find events surrounding the festival around the city! For instance, the Pride Bar Crawl starts at Rumors and heads to various watering holes downtown, then ending back at Rumors for a drag show, followed by an afterparty at Flanagan’s. Or, check out NSFW Fest, an official preparty for the festival, held on June 15. If you’re a bit freaky with it and would enjoy an evening of burlesque, drag, pole performers, vendors, contests and more, this is the night for you.

Muskegon Pride
360 Western Ave., Muskegon  |  June 1, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.  |

Muskegon Pride, organized by the Muskegon LGBTQ+ Community Center, is a relatively new addition to the region’s Pride events but has quickly grown in popularity. Held in Hackley Park, Muskegon Pride features a lively parade to kick things off, followed by live entertainment and a variety of food and craft vendors. Entertainment includes aerialists, jugglers, drag shows, live singing and DJs. Bring the whole family, as there’s free face painting, crafts, hula hooping and storytime right around noon! 

Holland Pride
Centennial Park  |  250 Central Ave., Holland  |  June 29, 12-5 p.m.  |

Organized by Holland Pride, Inc., this charming fest includes a variety of activities for all ages, including music and dancing with DJ GB, a new live stage, an inclusive D&D campaign for all ages, food trucks, a huge LGBTQ+ market full of art, yard games, AND a family area with inflatables, balloon animals, crafts, face painting, and more! Holland Pride emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and acceptance in a city known for its Dutch heritage and conservative roots.

Grand Haven Pride
Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium  |  June 8, 12-9 p.m.  |

This is the second year ever for Grand Haven Pride. Last year’s inaugural event saw more than 5,000 festivalgoers come into town, with a maxed-out vendor market and incredible support from the community (despite a few vocal, bigoted naysayers). Come through for great food trucks, event-specific drinks, drag bingo, dance parties, a large vendor market and much more.

Kalamazoo Pride
Arcadia Creek Festival Place  |  June 7-8  |

Kalamazoo Pride, hosted by OutFront Kalamazoo, is one of the largest and most vibrant Pride events around, bringing in more than 8,000 people every year. The celebration spans two days and features an array of activities, including a parade, live entertainment, and an extensive vendor market. Come through on June 7 for the Mx/Ms/Mr Pride Pageant, ALL STARS edition! That’s right, all contestants are previous winners and standouts. The event also includes a family-friendly area with activities for children. 

Saugatuck Pride
Beery Field  |  8 Center St., Douglas  |  June 1, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.  |

Saugatuck, known for its artistic community and LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere, hosts a delightful Pride celebration that draws visitors from across the region. The day starts with a Care-A-Van parade running through downtown Saugatuck and Douglas. Then, head to Beery Field for a jam-packed day of entertainment. Experience performances from the West Michigan Gay Men’s Chorus, Random Play Band, Michigan Drag Brunch Queens, NIAH Band, and more. You’ll also find delicious food options from smokey pulled pork to charcuterie boxes, beverages, dozens of vendors from across West Michigan, classic cars, and more. Don’t forget your lawn chairs and picnic blankets!

Newaygo Pride
Brooks Park  |  28 N. State Rd., Newaygo  |  June 29, 3-7 p.m.  |

This young festival packs a big punch, bringing in people from all over the nature-filled area around Newaygo. Held downtown right in Brooks Park, it’s a colorful party full of performances from local musicians, poets, and drag queens like DeeDee Chaunte, plus activities like face paint, hair glitter, tie dying, corn hole and more. You’ll also find a professional photo booth partnering with The Trevor Project to snap your fit, not to mention food and drinks.

Lansing Pride
216 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Lansing  |  June 22, 1-10 p.m.  |

It’s a full day of nonstop entertainment in Lansing. Don your rainbow gear and join in for a day filled with love, laughter and celebration, with drag shows and live music throughout the day, including an electrifying performance by Loosey Laduca of RuPaul’s fame. There will also be nearly 200 vendors, food trucks, a beer tent, a children’s area and an enchanting Drag Queen Story Time.