The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul celebrate Gay Pride for more than a full week each June (June 19 to June 30 in 2013), 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 29, 2013, and the Pride Parade and continuation of the Pride Festival on Sunday, June 30, 2013. It's an especially exciting year for Pride in Minnesota, with the state having legalized gay marriage, and the Supreme Court having overturned DOMA - expect huge crowds this year. There's even a Gay Wedding Pride Showcase this year.
During the weeks leading up to Pride, you can attend a number of related events and activities, including the Twin Cities Pride Art Show.
Sunday before Pride is the Pride Picnic in St. Paul, at Como Park, in the East Picnic Pavilions. The festivities begin at 11 am and last until 2 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 this year's headlining acts, including L'Assassins, the New Standards, Neon Hitch, and Nina Sky, along with many other local and national acts), 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 24, 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.