© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Organizers expect thousands at Pride events in St. Louis this weekend

Janie Oliphant, left, adjusts a LGBT flag held by Cody Copp and Samuel Taylor so they can have their picture taken at a rally and march in St. Louis in February 2017.

St. Louis will host two Pride festivals this weekend as part of a yearly celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and history.

Pride traces its roots back to the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when police raided a gay club in New York City, sparking widespread protests.  As in past years, two Pride celebrations will take place in St. Louis; a large, two-day event downtown and a community-driven festival in Tower Grove Park. 

The downtown Pride festival has grown over the years and now draws over 300,000 people.

While the spirit of the two events is similar, the Tower Grove Pride event is smaller and does not have any corporate sponsors.

“We’re really focused on developing a strong group of local booths and vendors, artists, crafters, small businesses,” said Angelo Olegna, co-founder of Tower Grove Pride. “We just want people to keep supporting each other economically.”

Tower Grove Pride does allow larger corporations, including Sprint and Verizon, to participate in a career fair at the festival. The event will also feature more than 150 local vendors, nonprofits and community groups.

PrideFest, the larger of the two celebrations, is now in its 39th year. The event will include a 5K run, musical performances and a parade along Market Street.

“Our parade [is] the largest we’ve ever had,” said Landon Brownfield, secretary of the board for Pride St. Louis. “It’s being led by Angelica Ross, who is this amazing transgender activist, actress and advocate.”

Brownfield said there are more than 160 groups taking part in the parade.

Pride in St. Louis at a glance

Tower Grove Pride: Community-powered, independent Pride festival founded in 2013.

When: 11 a.m. - 8 p.mSaturday, June 23

Where: Southeast corner of Tower Grove Park, near the intersection of Arsenal Street and South Grand Boulevard

Highlights (schedule):

  • 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., musical performances, Sons of Rest Pavilion
  • More than 150 vendors, artisans and crafters
  • Dog cooling station and kissing booth
  • Lawn games, including horseshoes and axe throwing
  • Yoga led by the Yoga Buzz Hive - STL

                                                                    - - -
PrideFest: the largest Pride festival in St. Louis. Now in its 39th year, the event is expected to draw upwards of 300,000 people.

When: Saturday, June 23 at 11 a.m. to Sunday, June 24 at 6 p.m.

Where: Soldiers Memorial Park, downtown St. Louis

Highlights (schedule):

Saturday, June 23

  • 7 - 11 a.m. Pride Bicycle Ride along Riverfront Trail
  • 1 p.m. Military Wreath Ceremony
  • 2:25 - 7:00 p.m. Musical performances at the Monsanto Stage and Mastercard Main Stage

Sunday, June 24

  • 8 a.m. Pride 5K, Tower Grove Park
  • 10 a.m. Interfaith Service, Mastercard Main Stage
  • 12 p.m. Pride Parade, Market Street

Follow Shahla on Twitter: @shahlafarzan

Shahla Farzan was a reporter at St. Louis Public Radio. Before becoming a journalist, Shahla spent six years studying native bees, eventually earning her PhD in ecology from the University of California-Davis. Her work for St. Louis Public Radio on drug overdoses in Missouri prisons won a 2020 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award. 

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.