Get loud, be proud, and come out for Pride in Columbus. 

The first Pride march in Columbus was in 1981 and drew around 200 participants—now, it’s the largest Pride celebration in the Midwest! With Columbus Pride drawing more than 700,000 people and recently being named among the top Pride Festivals in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler, you'll be in good company if you're traveling into town to celebrate. If you're planning to come for the official march, it's June 15th. But don't let that be the only time you spend in town—whether you want to come early or stay late, a lot is happening throughout the rest of the month. This guide will help you plan your trip so you can enjoy all of the festivities. 


Pride Parade


Columbus Pride Festival Weekend: Tips, Stays and the Details

Dates, Location and Accessibility

Columbus Pride Festival weekend kicks off at Goodale Park on Friday, June 14th from 4 pm to 10 pm with the Pride March beginning at 10:30 am on  Saturday, June 15th.

The march begins at the corner of Broad and High Streets near the Ohio Statehouse. Listen for the Columbus Pride Marching Band and high-step it down High Street until you reach Goodale Park, where the party’s at. Participating nonprofit and corporate vendors will be plentiful, so you can safely assume you'll be able to pick up some free water bottles and string backpacks—and other freebies *wink wink*—if you forget your own.

Goodale Park has paved paths, so wheelchair users can navigate the party without too much off-roading. Goodale is hosting Pride festivities, including a resource fair, on Friday, June 14th from 4-10 pm and on Saturday, June 15th, after the parade until 8 pm.


Lobby of the Moxy Columbus Short North

The Moxy lobby in Columbus' Short North Arts District


Where to Stay for Columbus Pride: Hotels, Packages and Discounts

Columbus' Short North Arts District is where all the action is. If you're looking to party from dusk till dawn, you'll want to stay there.

Hotels like The Moxy  and The Graduate  have unique decor and amenities that are perfect for the weekend. At The Moxy, you check in at the bar so you can kick off your stay with a sense of adventure, and they have a pool table with other games in the lobby, which is perfect for downtime between activities. For the OSU alums returning to town, go for The Graduate. With a vintage collegiate vibe, you'll be reminded of the good ol' days from the moment you arrive. 

The Hilton Columbus Downtown  has a Pride Package with some fun in-room amenities included and a buffet breakfast, which will be great for fueling up for the festivities.

While they may not have Pride packages (or just haven't announced them yet), several other hotels are in the area, like the Hampton Inn & Suites The Drury Plaza Hotel , Canopy by Hilton, The Junto , and Le Meridien - The Joseph 

But if Pride isn’t complete without your fur baby, check out the DogHouse at Brewdog. Run by a brewery half an hour outside the city, it’s a dog-friendly hotel with built-in beer fridges in the bathroom. 

Pro TipBook your hotel through Experience Columbus and get free attraction tickets or Lyft credit. 


Getting Around Columbus Pride: Transportation

Pro tip: For those driving into town, don't count on parking near the park. Instead, take a COTA bus or ride a CO-GO bike down to the festivities.

If you haven't been to Columbus, our bus system is easily navigable. Find your way to N. High St., which runs right through the Short North Arts District, one of Columbus' "gayborhoods", where many Pride festivities are happening, and take the #2 bus south until you hit the stop at W. Russel St. From there it's a block west until you're in the middle of Goodale Park. There is a Central Ohio Transit Authority  (COTA) app so you can pay digitally for the bus, but it wouldn't hurt to stack up on ones. That way you can pay the bus fare and still have plenty of dollar bills to tip the drag queens and kings.


A group entering the Stonewall Columbus community building in Columbus.


Columbus Pride Festival Weekend Events & Happenings

Here are some things to do during Columbus Pride weekend outside of the festival activities.

Pride on High

Prefer to watch the parade with a stunning rooftop view? Relax in the air conditioning with good food and drinks, performances, nonjudgemental parade commentary, cover in case of the rain, and a private bathroom while raising money for local LGBTQIA+ charities when you opt for Pride on High. This experience is so popular there are now three locations to choose from: Parlay Sporting Club and Kitchen, Local Cantina, and Hyde Park. If you’re into upscale pub fare with an eclectic American menu, go for Parlay; if you prefer tacos and tequila, opt for Local Cantina; and if your style is more fancy steakhouse, choose Hyde Park. 

Over the years, more than $60,000 has been raised for causes like Columbus' queer youth center, LGBTQIA+ health, Columbus College of Art and Design's LGBTQ+ scholarship fund, and the local chapter of the Human Rights Campaign. Go for the bathrooms and stay for the good cause—a win-win! Tickets are on sale now, so buy early to avoid a day of upcharge.

Pro tip: If you or anyone in your party is Deaf or hard of hearing, choose Hyde Park as your location. The ASL interpreters will be on a stage directly across the street, so you’ll have a prime viewing spot! 


Bat-N-Rouge at Dodge Park

For the sports fans, visit Dodge Park, another of our city’s beautiful parks, on Sunday, June 16th for Bat-n-Rouge. Billed as “the only time softball is a drag,” you’ll experience the game played by drag queens and kings, with proceeds being donated to a worthy cause. General admission is just $10, and there’ll be food trucks, beer trucks, music, and cheerleaders. 

Want even more bargains? Buy a Pride tag to save at local businesses all weekend long.


Woman eating Columbus-Style Pizza at Slammers in Columbus

Pizza on the patio at Slammers


Columbus Pride Festival Nightlife: Gay Bars, Lesbian Bars & Drag Performances

You can't have Pride without a good gay bar and Columbus has a spot for everyone under the rainbow.


Slammers is one of less than two dozen lesbian bars left in the country. Honor this iconic watering hole by stopping in for a visit and enjoying their pizza kitchen. I recommend the pickle pie (pickles on pizza are delicious; I dare you to try it), turkey sub, and buffalo cauliflower bites. Slammers has a dive bar feel, complete with darts and cornhole on the patio, located just a short bus or bike ride from the Pride party. The eatin' is good, the drinkin' is great, and the vibes are even better.

Visit Slammers at 202 E Long St, Columbus, OH 43215.

District West

Right around the corner is District West, a venue opened by famed drag queen Virginia West with a focus on performance. Drag shows don't just happen here - District West was built especially for their purpose. With a runway, high-quality projectors and ample lighting, shows are an immersive theater experience with thoughtful production. Queens aren't the only ones who get in on the fun, there are drag king shows, too. 

While the shows are fabulous year-round, Virginia and the District West team go all out for Pride, so you don't want to miss it. There are Pride events on June 14 and 15, as well as Sunday brunch on theJune 16, with each event featuring a different lineup of performers. 

Visit District West at 145 N 5th St, Columbus, OH 43215.


A.W.O.L. is a gay club that knows how to have a good time. Known for having massive parties during Pride weekend with drag shows and karaoke, there's never a dull moment. There's usually a food cart out front on event nights in case you need to carb up for more dancing. The bar and dance floor are fun, but it's the patio that really shines, especially on summer nights. A.W.O.L. is also just a quick drive or ride share from Goodale Park.

Visit A.W.O.L. at 49 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43215.


In the heart of the Short North Arts District and just a quick walk from the party at Goodale Park is Columbus' largest gay club, Axis. Spanning two levels, every seat is the best seat in the house for their drag shows. Wear your neon, white and glow accessories to shine under their dozens of blacklights. The outside of the building might look nondescript, but don't be fooled; it’s what's on the inside that counts. And with a lineup of at least four different DJs over Pride weekend, no matter what day you show up, you’re in for a good time. 

Visit Axis at 775 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215.

Tremont Lounge

Tremont Lounge has been a Columbus staple since 1987. If you're looking for a chill place, this is it. No fancy cocktails, just simple mixed drinks made well. There's a reason Tremont has been around for so long - friendly bartenders, generous pours, a good vibe and an environment causal enough to spend a whole day there if you wanted to. Patrons tend to be a little older, so this is the ideal spot if you’re too tired to go clubbing or are just burnt out on the scene. 

Visit Tremont Lounge at 708 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206.

Steel Mill Tavern

Further south is Steel Mill Tavern, which is one of my gay nerd spots because they've got old-school Galaga and PacMan. And when you get tired of chomping through mazes with little ghosts chasing you, there's always pool, darts and pinball in addition to the great dancing. I highly recommend this down-to-earth, easy-going music video bar. 

Visit Steel Mill Tavern at 1816 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43207.

Other great queer-friendly spots in Columbus include Club Diversity, Boscoe's, Caven, O'Connor's Club 20 and Bossy Grrl's Pin Up Joint.


A women holding up a peace sign in front of Stonewall Columbus.

Stonewall Columbus' headquarters at 1160 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201


More Columbus Pride Events and Things to Do


Stonewall Columbus

Columbus Pride is organized by Stonewall Columbus , a local nonprofit and queer art gallery, which in addition to the official parade and march, is hosting several other events throughout June. When you're in town, you'll want to pop into Stonewall's headquarters and see their current gallery exhibition for yourself. Stonewall Columbus' headquarters at 1160 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201.

Pride Bar Crawl

Want more drinks and another good cause? Extend your stay a little longer, or come back to town on Saturday, June 22, for the Pride Bar Crawl! Kicking off a Howl at the Moon Columbus right by Goodale Park, buying a bar crawl ticket gets you a couple of free drinks, waived covers at host bars, food and drink specials, and an exclusive after-party. And your dollar will be well spent, with proceeds benefiting our local Kaleidoscope Youth Center for queer kiddos. The fun starts at 4 pm and rages on until midnight, across seven locations.

Heroes Among Us Art and Fashion Pride Showcase

Black, Out & Proud is presenting their 5th annual Pride art and fashion show. This is a must-see for nature lovers, especially since the event will be in the Wells Barn at Franklin Park Conservatory and the artworks will incorporate nature’s beauty and bounty. The event will take place on Saturday, June 29 from 5-8 pm, but don’t wait to get your tickets—they sell out fast. 

Community Pride (October)

If you want to hit up all the gay establishments in town with less of a crowd, come back in October for Community Pride. This event is led by queer, trans people of color every fall. Check back for more details!

Pride happens 365 in Columbus. Learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community in Columbus and come be a part of the magic this year and share your memories with us using #yesColumbus.