PrideFest Guide

Milwaukee loved PrideFest so much that they added another day.

The annual, now, four-day celebration, PrideFest returns to Milwaukee June 7-10 at the Henry Maier Festival Park (AKA Summerfest grounds, 200 N. Harbor Dr.). The festival includes plenty of delicious food items, live music, dances, drag shows and more.

The added day, Thursday June 7, starts at 6 p.m. with a Pride Launch Party and goes until 11 p.m. To kick off the festival, entertainers include DJ Kelly, DJ Chomper, DJ Shawna, Antics and headliner CASH CASH at 9:30 p.m. All the events will take place at the Dance Pavilion.

Although Thursday is too much fun, Friday marks the official beginning of PrideFest with the opening ceremonies beginning at 3 p.m. at the Dance Pavilion. From 2:30-4:30 p.m., tickets are only $1 to encourage all of Milwaukee to watch the Opening Ceremonies.

From there on, it’s up to you to walk your way around the grounds and enjoy the vast amount of entertainment that the festival offers. If you’re in the mood to laugh, check out Ladies of Comedy at 5 p.m. If you’re in the mood for a nice workout, PrideFit offers various workouts every hour from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you’d like to sit back and enjoy, head over to watch the BJ Daniels Drag Show at 4:30 p.m. Last but not least, stay late and enjoy Daya at 10:15, DAVE AUDE at 10:30 or participate in the Pants off Dance off party at 10:30.

Photo by PrideFest

Saturday is another jam-packed day with entertainment running from 12:15 p.m. to midnight. Along with wonderful entertainment, this year, PrideFest is hosting the first annual Ride with Pride event outside the gates. This motorcycle ride is expected to be the world’s largest LGBTQ themed motorcycle ride in history.

Just some of the entertainment includes a Spanish Dance Instruction, a BluEcplise Fashion Show, a Latin Drag Show, Advances in HIV Testing and Treatment, Karaoke, a Leather and Fetish Show, Ask the Sexpert!, a Comedy Showcase and so much more. As for the night, watch JoJo, Diva’s Live or Jussie Smollett. Don’t forget about the fireworks at 9:30 p.m.!

Once again, Sunday offers an abundance of activities for everyone. But before hitting the grounds, we recommend showing your support for the LGBTQ community by attending or participating in the Pride Parade. Step-off begins at 2 p.m. on South 2nd Street and the theme this year is ‘Remember the Past, Create the Future.’

Photo by Kate Sherry

As for the rest of PrideFest that Sunday, get ready to end the weekend with a bang. Whether you want to see the Zephyr Belly Dancers, watch the Lady Gia Drag Show, exercise in a Zumba class, listen to Kink it Up! or enjoy part of the Queerlesque Showcase, it’s guaranteed that you will have plenty to choose from. End the weekend celebration with The B-52s and DJ’s from Mars. 

Find specialty marketplace vendors and artisans throughout the festival grounds. There will be 15 food vendors with food ranging from sushi to doughnuts to BBQ to greasy food and lots in between to choose from, so you’ll never go hungry.

For a complete schedule of the PrideFest 2018 entertainment lineup, visit



Caroline Blair is a digital marketing intern for Milwaukee Magazine. She just finished her sophomore year at Syracuse University studying magazine journalism and marketing. She grew up in Milwaukee and is excited to be spending her summer here interning at Milwaukee Magazine.