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Where to celebrate Pride 2018

Parade down Madrid’s main avenue and attend a drag ball.

June is LGBTQ pride month and while cities like New York and San Francisco are known for their parades, the celebrations are unique and varied around the world. From Seattle to Madrid, these four cities offer exciting (and lesser-known) events you won’t want to miss.

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  • Toronto Pride, June 22 to 24

    Toronto Pride, June 22 to 24

    In the past decade, Toronto has become iconic for its annual events, like TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and Luminato (arts festival), and Gay Pride is no exception. While the city technically celebrates the entire month, the real highlights take place over the June 22 weekend, drawing more than a million people. Musicians Fido and Brandy will give live performances, and several notable events will take place on Church Street, like the annual Pride Street Fair and Marketplace, a pool party hosted by BenDelaCreme, one of the stars of the popular drag queen contest TV show Rupaul’s Drag Race, Drag Ball (a dance party with several music performances), and the new Til Sunrise Island Party. The parade, with 120 organizations marching, will feature cast members Daniel Levy and Noah Reid (both Toronto natives) from the Netflix comedy Schitt’s Creek.

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  • Seattle Pride, June 23 to 24

    Seattle Pride, June 23 to 24

    Fans of Rupaul’s Drag Race know Seattle is a breeding ground for amazing drag queens (like season 5 winner Jinkx Monsoon), and the city is home to one of the most underrated Gay Prides in the country. Having a reputation for being politically driven, and with a diverse roster of hosts (like author Sherman Alexie and actor George Takei), the city’s celebration is a cultural affair. Seattle Men’s Chorus will pay tribute to British rock and pop with tunes from Elton John and Freddie Mercury; Seattle Seahawks’s openly gay punter Jon Ryan will make a cameo, and the Volunteer Park Pride Festival will be headlined by up-and-coming musician Desi Valentine. It’s also a good time to check out the iconic Space Needle, which just unveiled a 100-million dollar renovation.

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  • Madrid Pride, June 28 to July 7

    Madrid Pride, June 28 to July 7

    Not only is it the biggest gay event in Madrid, it’s also the city’s largest annual event. Nearly two million people attend; that’s more than half of the capital’s population (3.3 million). Dozens of special events take place throughout the week, like pool parties, free concerts, sporting events, and a Mr. Madrid beauty contest in and around the Chueca neighborhood. The parade on July 7 features double-decker party floats that wheel down the main avenue, Gran Via. It starts at 6 p.m. and coincides with a bank holiday, so prepare to stay out and watch the sunrise.

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  • Southern Decadence, New Orleans, August 30 to September 3

    Southern Decadence, New Orleans, August 30 to September 3

    While New Orleans has a small gay pride weekend in June, Southern Decadence over Labor Day weekend is its official gay pride event, when 300,000 people come out to celebrate. The streets, from Bourbon to Frenchmen, are overrun with revelers until daylight, and more than a dozen LGBTQ bars and clubs celebrate with themed events. Expect over-the-top costumes and plenty of partying on the streets thanks to the city’s open-container law. The weekend culminates with a parade in the French Quarter on Sunday.

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48 hours in Milan

There are over 100 miles of cycling paths inside the city.

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