A Guide to WorldPride 2014

10 days of LGBTQ celebration turn streets into parades, parks into parties, and strangers into friends

The epic party that is WorldPride 2014 kicks off in Toronto this week. There are more events than any one person could possibly attend so check out these best bets to squeeze the most out of the celebrations.

We couldn’t list every event, for a full list go here. That said, here are some we think you’ll enjoy.

Friday June 20

Opening Ceremonies | Nathan Phillips Square – 7 PM
Fireworks and live music kicks off this year’s WorldPride celebration. Melissa Etheridge, Deborah Cox, Steve Grand and many more will be there to celebrate Toronto’s biggest celebration of love and diversity.

The Bizarre Ball at Buddies: Rainbow Warriors | Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – 10:30 PM
Toronto’s vogueing sensation, The House of Nuance, brings the bizarre back to Buddies for a spectacular pride ball. Get done up and strut your stuff, or just come and experience the wildest night this city has to offer.

Mystery Date Night | Nightly – June 20-29
Mystery Date Night, a night of fun romance with a fun twist. You won’t be able to see your date. With a fun matching service and dinner in the dark in the heart of Gay Village, you can meet the person of your dreams! Get more details here.

Saturday June 21

Fit Pre-Pride Warm Up | The Beaver – 11 PM
Hosted by DJ Kris Steeves & Phil V, come celebrate the beginning of WorldPride.

Sunday June 22

Distillery Sunday Market | The Distillery District – 10 AM
Stroll down historic Gristmill Lane and browse a selection of local, fresh, and beautiful goods produced by farmers and artisans.

Rainbow Pride Festival | Ward’s Island Sunshine Centres for Seniors – 11 AM
Come join us for the first ever Intergenerational Rainbow Pride Festival with a BBQ, live entertainment, fun-filled games, an art crawl, an informative community fair, and more.

Monday June 23

MSM (Men Seeking Men) | Winchester Street Theatre
MSM [men seeking men] is a dance theatre piece inspired by actual transcripts of online conversations between men who seek other men.

Tuesday June 24

Great Lakes Schooner Company Cruises | Queen’s Quay 6:30 PM
All aboard! Come celebrate Pride on a boat! There is a special evening dinner cruise onboard the Majestic Tall Ship Kajama.

Wednesday June 25

Big Fab Gay Garden Wedding | Toronto Botanical Gardens 3 PM
If you pictured your wedding taking place in a beautiful garden setting, along with hundreds of other brides and grooms, this is the free mass LGBTQ wedding ceremony for you!

In Conversation With…Laverne Cox | TIFF Bell Lightbox 7 PM
Laverne Cox, the beloved trans actress from Orange Is the New Black, chats with GLAAD National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz about transgender advocacy and her documentary Free CeCe, which chronicles the arrest and trial of a trans African-American woman who defended herself against a violent, racist, and transphobic attack.

Thursday June 26

Celebration of Love Grand Pride Wedding | Casa Loma 2 PM
Maybe the wedding of your dreams is more of a fairy tale. Join the other princes and princesses at Casa Loma for a free celebration of marriage equality and love.

The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert Screening | St. James Park 8 PM
It’s the ultimate drag queen road trip movie. Actually, it may be the only drag queen road trip movie. Enjoy this 90s classic the way summer movies were made to viewed – outdoors, in the park. You’ll want to get there early so you don’t miss out on the very necessary live drag show taking place right before the movie starts.

Friday June 27

Wannabe: Spice Girl Tribute Band | Adelaide Hall 11 PM – 4 AM
Party like it’s 1999 with one of the city’s most fun tribute bands and back-up dancers to boot! Plus, enjoy the extended last call at one of city’s best small live music venues.

Annual Trans Pride March | North Stage Rally: 7pm March: 8pm
Since it began in 2009, the Trans March is an event for trans-identified people to rally and stand up in solidarity. It is one of the largest events of the trans communities in the GTA.

Saturday June 28

Big Pride Sing-A-Long: Get Loud! Get Proud! | Betty Oliphant Theatre 7 PM
Have you ever seen a 110-person choir? How about one made up of von Trapp kids like you’ve never seen, divas and drag king Mounties singing Madonna and Lady Gaga mash-ups? Put this on your bucket list and then cross it off this Saturday night.

Annual Dyke March | Allan Gardens Sign-Making: 12:30 pm Rally: 1 PM March: 2 PM
The Dyke March is a charged event. Organizers don’t think of it as a parade but instead as a political demonstration of the strength, diversity and passion of LGBTTIQQ2SA* women and trans folk.

Sunday June 29

Annual Pride Parade | 1 PM
The Main Event. The first Pride march in Toronto took place in 1981 and it’s grown year after year. With Toronto hosting WorldPride this year, the main event is especially likely to be worth braving the crowds for.

Closing Ceremonies | Yonge-Dundas Square 5 PM
This free live concert has a packed line up, featuring Tegan and Sara, Rich Aucoin, and more. Just like the Olympic closing ceremonies in Sochi earlier this year, the next WorldPride city will be announced. But that’s likely to be the only parallel between these two events that share the same name.