The capital of - and largest city in - the state of Iowa, Des Moines has taken on a much higher profile in the ongoing battle for gay rights, since the state surprised many observers by becoming one of the earlier ones to legalize gay marriage. Des Moines is a moderate city politically, but there is a sizable and quite visible gay community here. The city celebrates Capital City Gay Pride each year over three days in early to mid-June - the dates this year are June 6 to June 8, 2014, a week before Iowa City Gay Pride.
Des Moines' Capital City Gay Pride comprises a two-day Pride Festival set on Grand Avenue Bridge, taking place on Saturday, June 7, from noon until midnight, and Sunday, June 8, from 9 am until 6 pm. Featured performers on Saturday night include Madison Ray and All The Single Ladies, followed by headliner Mya.
Then on Sunday there's a Pride Brunch in the morning, a Pride Parade along Locust Avenue at 1 pm, followed by PrideFest. Be sure to stick around until Monday, when pop legends Cher and Cyndi Lauper performs at the city's Wells Fargo Arena, with the concert starting at 7 pm.
Additionally, numerous bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Weekend. Check Accessline, Iowa's LGBT newspaper, for more on the Des Moines gay scene. Also take a look at the helpful visitor site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.