Motor City Pride is a volunteer run organization devoted to spreading awareness of the LGBTQ community through our community events.


Discover the rich history of pride movements in the United States and learn more about Motor City Pride’s important place within the LGBTQ equality movement in Detroit.



Motor City Pride hosts several fantastic events throughout the year. Find out more about upcoming event details and make your plans to attend.



Motor City Pride would like to invite you to be an exhibitor at our 2018 Festival. Join the largest LGBTQ gathering in Michigan, which draws tens of thousands of attendees.



Motor City Pride would not be possible without the assistance of our supporters. Learn more about these supporters and find out how to get your group involved.



On the night of June 27, 1969, the usual crowd gathered at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village. New York Beverage Control Board agents and NYC police officers raided the bar to enforce an alcohol control law that was seldom imposed anywhere else in the city.

Raids on Gay establishments, however, were common at the time and were conducted regularly with little or no resistance. Fearful Gay patrons were often physically forced out of their gathering places, sometimes beaten, and arrested, with no just cause just for simply congregating.

On this historic night, Lesbians, Gay men and Drag Queens came together to fight back against police harassment for the first time. The crowd inside and outside of the bar erupted into violent resistance against the officers.

Word spread quickly about the confrontation and outraged crowds gathered on subsequent nights to protest the mistreatment historically inflicted on the Gay community. These protests came to be known as the Stonewall Rebellion, with the uprising serving as the catalyst for the modern political movement for Gay and Lesbian liberation.

Now, Gay and Lesbian Pride events are planned annually each June throughout North America to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion and to continue the GLBT community struggle for equality.

The Origins of Motor City Pride

In 1986, a relatively new organization, the Michigan Organization for Human Rights (MOHR), organized Michigan's first Gay and Lesbian march in Detroit.

From 1986-1988, the civil rights march took place down Woodward Avenue followed by a rally at Kennedy Square. A party took place at the McGregor Center on the campus of Wayne State University following the rally, organized by a small number of dedicated Gay and Lesbian groups and volunteers.

In 1989, the Gay and Lesbian civil rights march was moved to the more central location of Lansing to attract statewide participation and political awareness as well as to celebrate the 20th anniversary of New York City’s Stonewall Riots, the beginning of the modern day movement of equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender citizens.  Metropolitan Detroit was left without a LGBT march, rally and party, so during this same year, the first official Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival was founded and chaired by Frank Colasonti, Jr. and sponsored by the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council (DAGLC).  It began the tradition of being held on the first Sunday of June.  That year the Pride Festival took place on the Dearborn Campus of the University of Michigan in the gymnasium. In 1990, the event’s name was officially changed to PrideFest, and was relocated to the Royal Oak campus of Oakland Community College.

In 1992, the new chairman Michael C. Lary broke away from DAGLC and created the independent organization South East Michigan Pride to continue the mission of bringing the GLBT community together.  His leadership continued until 2001. During this time period the official name of PrideFest became PrideFest Celebration!

In 2001, the PrideFest Celebration officially transferred to the Triangle Foundation as part of Triangle’s community outreach activities.  In 2003, it was officially renamed Motor City Pride and moved to downtown Ferndale. From 2002 to 2008 it was chaired by Fred Huebener and Jackie Anding, and coordinated by Kevin McAlpine, Development Director at the Triangle Foundation.

Since 2009 Motor City Pride has been headed up by a core group of Triangle Foundation volunteers that form the Motor City Pride Planning Committee.  Triangle Foundation merged with Michigan Equality to form Equality Michigan; in 2012 Equality Michigan expanded the festival to two days and saw the return of a parade to the festival lineup of events.  The festival grew to drawing over 35,000 participants and featuring over 200 performers.  In 2017 Equality Michigan assisted Motor City Pride founding its own 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization so the planning committee could concentrate on growing the festival, and to allow Equality Michigan to concentrate on its core mission of victim services, education and policy work.



Michigan’s largest pride celebration! Find out about the 2018 Motor City Pride Festival and start planning your visit today.



Sunday of pride weekend starts the day off with our annual pride parade.



View the 2018 Motor City Pride guide for all the information you need on Motor City Pride activities and events.



To pay respect to those in our community we lost to violence and intolerance we will be holding a candlelight vigil.


Motor City Pride

March 3, 2018
Dearborn Performing Arts Center

With 1,000 people attending, get your tickets today before they are sold out!

Dearborn’s Ford Community & Performing Arts Center
15801 Michigan Avenue at Greenfield (just east of Southfield Fwy.) in Dearborn, Michigan

Advanced Tickets: $30

Host Hotel
Rooms are available just blocks from the theater at:

Courtyard Detroit-Dearborn
5200 Mercury Drive
Dearborn, MI 48126

Mention “ComedyFest” to receive a special room rate on March 2 and 3, 2018

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Saturday, June 9th & Sunday, June 10th
Hart Plaza, Detroit



Saturday, June 9th

Sunday, June 10th


There will be three entrances to the festival. The main gate will be off of Jefferson Avenue & Woodward, another gate will be at the west end of the park off Jefferson by the Ford UAW building & the third riverfront entrance gate will be located off of the Detroit river walk.


There is a $5.00 cover charge.

There is no charge for youth 12 and under.


Saturday, June 9, 2018
1:00pm – 9:00pm (enterence gates close at 8:00pm)

Sunday, June 10, 2018
Noon – 7:00pm (enterence gates close at 6:00pm)


Security will check bags and wand all individuals coming into the festival.  If possible we recommend leaving backpacks at home, or if you need one, to bring a small bag to speed up the security lines.  The following items are not allowed to be brought in:

Beverages, including bottles of water (Bottles of water will be available for $1.00), Weapons, Umbrellas larger then a golf umbrella, Roller blades and skateboards, Bicycles (Metropolis Cycle will be offering a Bike Valet for our guests)


Metropolis Cycles will be valet parking your bike at their fantastic bicycle valet area.

The secure valet area will be just east of the main entrance.

Thank you to Metropolis Cycles for helping us offer this service.


Hart Plaza
1 West Jefferson
Detroit, MI 48226


The festival has 14 different food vendors and food trucks that will be selling everything from vegetarian items and grilled food to pizza and burgers.  These booths will also have soft drinks and water available for purchase.


Our Beverage Areas will feature Miller Light and Summer Shanty and a selection of Craft Beers from Arbor Brewing Company.  Frozen Red Bull Slushes, Margaritas and Daiquiris will be available at the Pride Stage Bar.  Deep Eddy Vodka Drinks will be available on the Riverfront Patio.


  • Lyft – We have partnered with Lyft to be our official ride sharing service for the festival.  They will have a designated drop-off and pick-up area near the Ford UAW gate for the convenience of festival attendees.  Lyft is also offering a 20% discount for first time riders.  The code is PRIDEMC17 or you make link to
  • Cycling to the festival – Metropolis Cycle will be valet parking your bike.  The secure valet area will be just east of the main entrance.
  • Qline – The Qline will be free over the weekend, if you know of a good parking place along Woodward Avenue; it will be a convenient way to arrive just a block from the festival entrance.


Check the weather – we are hoping that you will need sunscreen, but since its Michigan, you may also want to have an umbrella (remember nothing larger then a golf umbrella). Hart Plaza has a lower level that will provide some shelter from any severe weather that might pass through.


There are two sets of restrooms with running water on the lower level of the Plaza.  There will also be portable facilities throughout the upper level of the plaza.


We are designating Vendor and Sponsor Rows and the lower level of the plaza as no smoking areas.  If you choose to smoke in other areas of the festival, we ask you to be considerate of those around you.


While we love our pets, because of the hot pavement and large crowds, we encourage you to keep them in the comfort of your home.  If you do bring a pet, only pets that can walk into the festival and are on a leash will be allowed.


Saturday June 11th & Sunday June 12th
Hart Plaza, Detroit
Matt Connors
Matt Connors
Lead Dev
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Noon, Sunday, June 10th

Any questions regarding the parade?

Email us at


Saturday June 9th

Motor City Pride will gather and pay respect to those we lost to violence both within the Michigan LGBTQ+ community and globally including the 49 lives that were tragically lost at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

We invite you to join us in a candlelight vigil on June 10th at 8PM following the close of our festival on Saturday night. The vigil is open to everyone in the community who seeks peace and tolerance & will be free of charge to attend. Illumination devices will be provided as supplies permit. We continue to stand with all who are affected by violence and intolerance.


Motor City Pride would not be possible without the help and assistance we receive from our amazing community partners and the business sponsors of the festival. We would love to find a place for your group or organization within our festival. Please reach out to us today so we can setup a time to connect and discuss your needs.

Local Pride Partners

Are you a local business interested in showing your support for pride and the LGBTQ community? Become a pride partner today and receive recognition for your support and our exclusive window cling to display for all your customers to see. Contact Us to find out how


Be a part of the pride crew at Motor City Pride and help make this community event happen!

Any questions about volunteering?

Email us at


View the full entertainment and stage schedules for Motor City Pride 2018!


Contact Motor City Pride

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440 Burroughs Street
Suite 650
Detroit, MI 48202

© Motor City Pride ~ 2018 All Rights Reserved