The Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade began in 1972, and grew into one of the biggest in the Midwest, and the biggest annual parade in Minneapolis. The parade draws over 125,000 spectators every year. Ashley Rukes was the Pride Parade director from 1991 until 1999 and the driving force behind turning a small parade into today's extravaganza.
The Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade, and the Pride Festival, are free, open to all, family friendly, fun and fabulous.
What Should You Expect at the Pride Parade? Expect lots of rainbows, sequins, satin, feather boas, muscular young men in speedos, big hair, high heels, firefighters, handbag sized dogs, motorcycles, politicians, the Giant Rainbow Flag, the Giant Leather Flag, techno music, and more as the participants parade, sail, dance and sashay down Hennepin Avenue at the Twin Cities most exuberant and most fabulous parade.
What's the best way to get to the parade? Taking public transit or biking to the festival is highly recommended. Parking at Loring Park is extremely limited, and parking in downtown Minneapolis is possible but expensive. The north end of the of the parade route, near the start, is a couple of blocks from either the Nicollet Mall or Wearhouse District/Hennepin Avenue Light Rail stations, and several Metro Transit buses serve nearby Nicollet Mall.