A Family Rainbow: Celebrate at the Pride Festival & Parade

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Families come in every shape, size and color of the rainbow. June is Pride Month and a great time to celebrate diversity and the LGBTQ community at the Pride Festival, happening June 14 & 15. There are plenty of festive activities that children of all ages are welcome to take part in. Grab a rainbow flag and read our insider’s guide to navigating this annual event with your kids.

portland pride kids truck

Portland Pride Festival
One of the best spots for children is hands-down the Family Tent at the Waterfront festival. Activities are still being lined up, but typically in years past, activities have historically included face-painting, balloon art, games, puzzles, arts and crafts, and bubble tag.

In addition to the Family Tent, booths with pure kid appeal include the Blooming Lotus Henna and Earth Fairy Airbrushing for face painting, New Seasons for deelish samples and snacks, Pets on Broadway for visits with furry friends, the Portland Children’s Museum for brainy fun activities, as well as music with the Rose City Gay Freedom Bands and live theatre performances with Triangle Productions.

Tom McCall Waterfront Park between SW Pine Street & the Morrison Bridge
Sat. & Sun., June 14-15
noon-6 p.m.
$7 suggested donation
Online at pridenw.org
portland pride latino dancer kids

Pride Parade
Watch for Blumenauer For Congress handing out snacks, US Bank balloons, the booming and attention grabbing marching drummers of the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers, singing and dancing from Hot Flash Dance Parties, MaracutuPDX, Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, Portland Lesbian Choir, Portland Raging Grannies, and the Rose Town Ramblers. Kiddos will love the parade of pooches with Pacific Pug Rescue and Rose City Veterinarian Hospital. The Timbers Army will also be marching down the street singing songs and bringing a hefty helping of general silliness.

NW Park and Burnside Ave. to Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Sun., June 15
11 a.m.
Online at pridenw.org/download/paraderoute.pdf

Portland Children’s Museum Pride Night
For the second annual Pride Night at the Portland Children’s Museum, it stays open a little later to celebrate all families and offers free admission, thanks to presenting sponsor Willamette Week, and community partners Basic Rights Oregon and Q Center.
4015 SE Canyon Rd.
Sat., June 14
4-7 p.m.
Online at portlandcm.org

Good to Know:
With upwards of 40,000 attendees expected, you’ll want to arrive early to secure prime viewing space for the parade.

If you really, really want to avoid waiting in line or if you just want to support PrideNW, you might consider purchasing a VIP Pass ($60/ticket or $50 /ticket for a pair), which includes a special festival entrance, two beverage tickets, access to the VIP lounge, an official t-shirt and undisclosed bonus extras.

Trying to find free parking will be like trying to avoid seeing a rainbow flag. Consider taking the MAX train to the Oak/SW 1st Ave station (Stop ID 8380), which is served by the Blue Yellow and Red Lines.

Bring with you a map of the parade route and festival layout, sunscreen, water, snacks for the parade (outside food will not be allowed inside the festival proper), and a fun, colorful outfit.

portland pride dad and son

What’s your favorite family-friendly Pride event?  Tell us in the Comments below!

— Ty Adams

Photo credit: Christian Reed  and Mike Krzeszak via Flickr Creative Commons

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