With a sizable gay and lesbian population and a scenic setting at the base of the soaring Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque has become one of the more gay-popular destinations in the Southwest over the years. The "Duke City" draws hundreds of participants to its Albuquerque Gay Pride celebration. ABQ Gay Pride shifted last year to a new time, a few weeks later than it had been held in the past, to the very end of June - the date this year is June 29, 2013. This is a week after Santa Fe Gay Pride, and as these cities are an hour apart by car, it's very easy to attend both celebrations.
Also note that Taos Gay Pride is held in mid-August 2013 (the event takes place in Kit Carson Park), and the dates this year are August 15 to 17.
The Albuquerque Pride takes place primarily on Saturday, June 29, but there are a few related events taking place in the days leading up, including a Candlelight Vigil held Thursday night, June 27, at Morningside Park from 7 pm until 8:30. PrideFest takes place at its traditional location, the Expo New Mexico Fairgrounds, which is located at Central Avenue NE and San Pedro Drive NE, just a little east of the trendy Nob Hill shopping and entertainment district. Hours are 11 am until 7 pm.
Pridefest includes booths representing gay-friendly area businesses and organizations, an Art Show, a pet parade, film festival, poetry slam, kids park, and plenty of live entertainment. Headliners at Pride this year include Kat Deluna and Joey Diamond. There's also a dance tent. There are also nightly parties during Pride weekend at Albuquerque's popular gay dance club, Effex, featuring Cazwell on Thursday night, Chad Michaels and Shannel on Friday night, and various DJs on Saturday night. And then there's a Sunday Pride Pool Party at Albuquerque's Hardrock Hotel.
You can buy tickets to the Pride Festival as well as the many other big parties taking place throughout the weekend online at the official ABQ Pride site.
The Albuquerque Gay Pride Parade takes place on Saturday at 10:30 am, running along Central Avenue (Historic Route 66 in Nob Hill) from Girard Boulevard to the NM Expo Grounds.
Additionally, numerous gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, gay-friendly hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week (including nightly parties at Effex). Check local resources, such as my Albuquerque Gay Guide, as well as with the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau's site on GLBT travel, for more ideas about planning a visit here. And visit the the helpful NM Gay Pride Guide, GoGayNewMexico.com, for more on gay-friendly businesses throughout the region.