It takes place in the vibrant and diverse city of Norfolk, which has one of the largest LGBT communities in the state, but also serves and attracts people from the nearby Virginia Beach towns of Chesapeake Bay, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth and Chesapeake, Hampton Roads Gay Pride takes place in mid to late June, this year’s date, which is a week earlier than last year, is June 17-18, 2016.
Held primarily in and around the historic maritime city of Norfolk, Hampton Roads Pridefest is unusual in that it is one of the only gatherings of its kind in the world to host a Pride Parade on the water. Taking place at noon on Saturday June 18, the Hampton Roads Pridefest Boat Parade is a great crowd-pleaser, during which thousands line the boardwalk to watch boats of all shapes and sizes, most of them adorned with rainbow flags, form a procession in front of the sea. Other events on this main day of Pridefest include an evening festival at Town Point Park (W. of Norfolk coast).
Main St. at Waterside Dr.) featuring performances by a wide range of musical acts throughout the day and early evening. This year’s main act is synthpop singer-songwriter Betty Who.
The other major major Hampton Roads Pride event is the Pride party on Friday night (June 17), which runs from 7 p.m. to midnight and takes place in Ghent around 20th Street and the Llewellyn avenue. Dancing with a DJ, good food and a lot of partying.
Throughout the week leading up to the big events, there are also several other Hamptons Pride-related events, including a housewarming party on Sunday, June 12, followed by a movie night, interfaith Pride celebration, at least one other. meeting every night.
Hampton Roads, Norfolk y Virginia Beach Escenas gay
Hampton Roads comprises the Virginia coastal area where the Elizabeth, Nansemond, and James Rivers empty into the Chesapeake Bay, as well as where the bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the largest metropolitan regions on the Mid-Atlantic coast, with a combined population of 1.7 million people, and its key cities include Virginia Beach (450,000), Norfolk (250,000), Chesapeake, (235,000), Newport News ( 185,000) and Hampton (140,000). Of these, although Virginia Beach is the largest and has one of the most popular LGBT bars in the state, Rainbow Cactus Company, Norfolk has by far the largest and most prominent and connected gay scene, as well as several gay bars.
In particular, the historic Ghent neighborhood is a particularly popular place for LGBT people in Norfolk to live and play.
Norfolk, Virginia Gay Resources
Although the Chesapeake Bay region is not served by a specific LGBT newspaper, the Hampton Roads Pride organization has a very helpful page that lists an extensive network of resources and groups in the area. There is also Hampton Roads Q-Matrix, a directory of LGBT resources in the area. Another useful site is the directory of Hampton Roads Business OutReach (HRBOR), the region’s LGBT chamber of commerce. Last but not least, VEER Magazine is a great alternative arts and entertainment publication throughout the Hampton Roads area that’s packed with tips on dining, nightlife, concerts, and more; it’s also pretty strong on LGBT coverage.
A very useful site is Visit Norfolk Today, which is produced by the city’s official tourism organization and includes tips on where to stay, top attractions, etc. Of wider use, if you plan to explore the region, are the web pages for the state tourism office in Hampton Roads.
Less than two hours in the capital of Virginia, you will also find a fairly sizable and lively LGBT scene. Check out the Richmond Gay Nightlife Guide for ideas on where to go out and socialize in that city. Other helpful resources there include GayRVA.com, an LGBT website in town, and the Richmond Gay Community Center.