The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul celebrate Gay Pride for more than a full week each June (June 18 to June 29 in 2014), in part to honor a seminal moment in the history of lesbian and gay rights, New York City's Stonewall Riots.
In the Twin Cities, Pride celebrations center around a series of events held around the last week of June, culminating with two major events, the Pride Festival on Saturday, June 28, and the Pride Parade and continuation of the Pride Festival on Sunday, June 29.
During the weeks leading up to Pride, you can attend a number of related events and activities, including the Twin Cities Pride Art Show. Here's a complete Twin Cities Pride calendar. Another big draw this year is a concert by the always hilarious and outrageous comedian and actress Margaret Cho, taking place the evening of June 26 at Orchestra Hall.
Sunday before Pride is the Pride Picnic in St. Paul, at Midway Stadirum in St. Paul. The festivities begin at 11 am and last until 1 pm - included are races and table games; burgers, hot dogs, and salads; and a softball game.
The Twin Cities main event is a weekend-long Pride Festival, set for Saturday (10 am to 10 pm) and Sunday (10 am to 6 pm), in lovely Loring Park. There will be a children's and family area, several stages hosting a variety of performers (including Betty Who, Steve Grand, Thelma Houston, and Thea Austin), food courts, a GLBT history pavilion, a "University Row" set up to provide information about colleges and universities in the area and their GLBT outreach, and Quorum Village, a 400-strong vendor/exhibitor gathering presented by the Twin Cities GLBT Chamber of Commerce.
The festival culminates with the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade, which takes place on Sunday, June 29, at 11 am (the Pre-Parade Show starts at 9 am). The parade has become more and more popular, drawing more than 125,000 spectators last year. It begins at the corner of 3rd Street and Hennepin Avenue and follows Hennepin south to the Pride Festival, in Loring Park.
Additionally, numerous gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Check local gay papers, such as Lavender Magazine, for details. Also check out the excellent GLBT website produced by the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association.