Crown Princess Ship
CB2379 at the English language Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

The one upside to the warmer weather is how long summer lasts – if in the past, we were pulling out our sweaters by September, these days, the party atmosphere can last until October, meaning that many of use who didn’t manage to get away during ‘peak summer season’ still have many opportunities to take a break and enjoy a string of fantastic parades, festivals, rallies, commemoration days and more. In this post, we highlight some of the must-visit events and suggest top cruising companies that will take you to the very best Pride festivals in the world.

September 18 to 19

Las Vegas Pride (Las Vegas, Nevada): This event comprises Las Vegas’ annual LGBT Pride Parade and Festival. In August, partygoers already enjoyed disco events, poolside parties and even a fun Family Rainbow Bingo event. There are many smaller events leading up to the Pride Parade during the month of September, including ‘You’re the One that I Want! (a 1950s themed ‘senior prom’ for those aged 50+) and the Las Vegas Pride meeting, where you can share your thoughts, give your input with the organizers and help make this year’s event better than ever. The Parade itself, on September 18, will dazzle you with it glitter and glamour, while Pride Festival, on September 19, is a fun day out for the whole family at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheatre), featuring fun activities for parents and children, as well as an array of live performances by top musicians.

September 20

Dallas Pride (Dallas, Texas): The aim of this parade is ‘to present the positive image of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community of Texas) and we can’t think of a more entertaining way to color the world with pride. Highlights include the Heineken Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade (the 32nd edition in Texas), the Miller Lite Festival in the Park, featuring a free concert by Ty Herndon and his band. Those visiting with kids will love the Family Pride Zone, featuring food, games, entertainment, vendor stands and more.

September 30 to October 4

Curacao Gay Pride (Curacao, Caribbean) Curacao, in the Caribbean is not only one of the world’s hottest cruising destinations; for four glorious days, it is also home to Curacao Gay Pride, an event aiming to unify, build communities and stress the importance of equal rights worldwide. The travel industry solidly supports this events, with many specially priced and themed cruises and flights for LGBT travelers wishing to soak in the warm sun, lie on powdery soft beaches and meet and greet new people from all over the world. What makes this Pride event so special is its enviable setting: white sands, swaying palm trees and dreamlike pools make the Caribbean an ideal setting for the plethora of parties and activities the event organizers have lined up. Take your pick from Happy Hour events, dinner and cabarets, the swish White Party at Pride Village (featuring renowned local and international DJs), and of course the Navigaytion Sea Parade, a true spectacle of colour and a powerful homage to the beauty of Nature. There are quick flights to Curacao from all over the world, so you may wish to begin your holiday at Curacao Gay Pride and sail your way back home, relaxing after the hectic nights of revelry.

October 3 to 4

River City Pride (Jacksonville Florida): This annual event, the longest running event of its kind in Northeast Florida, fosters a sense of community and encourages LGBT citizens to live openly and oppose discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The kickoff event is the annual Pride Parade on October 3, which winds through popular neighborhoods, Avondale and Riverside, and ends at Historic Five Points. After the parade, enjoy a fun street festival featuring items by local vendors and sponsors. The last event will take place on October 4 at Riverside Artist Square, by the serene waters of the St. Johns river. Around 5,000 people turned up to form part of the revelries last year, with members of local churches, community non-profit organizations and important businesses showing their support for diversity. Organizers of the event noted that greater education of the community at large was bound to bring positive change for the LGBT community. Despite recent progress in the legal sphere nationwide, there is still plenty of room for greater acceptance.