Sat 6/1 @ noon-6PM
Since 2016, Cleveland has celebrated Pride in the CLE on Public Square, an event that merged with the long-running Cleveland Pride, which took place at Voinovich Park. The newer event is centers Pride in the heart of the city, but it’s a less frantic, less commercial and more casual affair, and of course, the square’s splash pad adds to the fun.
It all kicks off with an informal parade at noon, with activists and community members marching down Lakeside to the square. There, people congregate to enjoy hanging out, browsing vendors and booths from nonprofit and social justice organizations — register to vote! support Planned Parenthood! — enjoying some food, listening to music and watching drag queens on the big stage, along with the inevitable greetings from public officials including the mayor, for whom an appearance has become obligatory.
What’s always most exciting about Pride is the diversity of attendees. It’s not just for LGBTQ people, although you’ll see every permutation of those. There are families and straight couples, black, white, Asian and Middle Eastern, young and old, couples, singles and groups, conservative-looking folks and others painted in rainbows from head to toe. It’s a time for all of Cleveland to celebrate every person getting to be whom they truly are.