2006 New York City Gay Pride Parade

New York City's Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade is a huge event that draws a huge crowd - gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight!

It is actually one of the final events in an entire week of pride activities. Because the event is crowded, and involves the vagueries of dealing with New York at its most chaotic, here are some tips on getting through and enjoying the day.

If you are planning to march in the parade the formation area begins at 52nd and 5th. If you are already involved with a particular group, they will be able to tell you in advance where their formation area is for the parade. If you are looking to find an appropriate group to march in the parade with, you can visit the Heritage of Pride website (linked at the end of this article) to see where various groups are marshalling. Most groups are very open to those that share their affinity marching with them. There are a huge number of groups, and they include marching bands, "dykes on bikes", and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups of every spiritual and ethnic affiliation you can imagine.

Thousands of people (WNBC says 500,000!) lined Fifth Avenue and Greenwich Village streets to enjoy this year's Gay Pride Parade, in spite of a bit of rain. In fact, one performer on the "Carnival in Rio" float told the NY Times, "Today is our day. The rain won't stop us. Mother Nature is a drag queen." One of the stars of the parade was Kevin Aviance, the drag queen who was brutally beaten by some teens in the East Village. A parade parade spectator deemed Aviance, who was wearing red high heels, silver shorts, a white jacket, and sparkly silver top hat, "fabulous."