Happy Pride Week, Milwaukee! Yes, this Thursday marks the opening day/night of PrideFest. On top of that massive festival (which runs through June 4), the city will also play host to a wide variety of other LGBTQ+ events throughout the week. Included in the array of events is the long-awaited return of the Milwaukee Pride Parade, a beer garden benefit for Courage MKE, a deluge of drag shows, a few viewing parties with local relevance, a full-fledged block party, and more. With the help of Milwaukee Record contributor Lauren Keene, we’ve assembled a list of Pride-related happenings that will be taking place in Milwaukee this week.

Wednesday, June 1

Baylee IJ Diamond’s 18+ PRIDE Kick-Off @ This Is It!
This Is It! will kick off Pride Week with an 18+ event headed up by Baylee IJ Diamond. Unfortunately, Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté had to cancel “due to unforeseen circumstances and doctors orders,” but the show must go on!

Thursday, June 2

PrideFest @ Henry Maier Festival Park
After canceling 2020’s event on account of a pandemic and turning last year’s celebration into a smaller-scale autumnal event called “PridetoberFest,” we’re pleased to report PrideFest will be returning in 2022. This year’s festival will take place June 2-4 at Henry Maier Festival Park, and will kick off with a “Throwback Thursday” theme night that features ’90s-focused entertainment and reduced ticket/drink prices.

Pride Night @ Cooper Park Beer Garden
The beloved Traveling Beer Garden will arrive in Cooper Park just in time for Pride Month. On Thursday, attendees are encouraged to wear their best and brightest Pride-themed apparel to celebrate Milwaukee’s LGBTQ+ community. The Beer Garden will be collecting donations for Courage MKE, a nonprofit that provides housing assistance and other critical resources for local LGBTQ+ youth.

FAYTALITY PRIDE with special guest Juno Birch @ This Is It!
The otherworldly Juno Birch will be taking a trip across the pond to headline a stacked PrideFest after party at This Is It! Unlike the rest of the TITS Pride Week headliners, Birch has never graced the RuPaul’s Drag Race mainstage. Instead, the “absolutely stunning alien drag queen” has blazed her own trails in the U.K., garnering large followings on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Birch will continue her British Invasion over at This Is It! Fingers crossed we’ll hear her iconic Jennifer Coolidge impression.

Friday, June 3

HOMIES PRIDE with special guest Peppermint @ This Is It!
Peppermint, the herstory-making runner up from Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is headlining night three of This Is It!’s Pride-related events. Peppermint was the first contestant in RPDR history to enter the Werkroom as a transgender woman. While many queens have since followed in her footsteps, Peppermint’s legacy is unrivaled—and so is her talent for drag. Peppermint will head up the HOMIES crew at This Is It! The HOMIES show will exclusively showcase drag artists of color from all over the Midwest.

PrideFest @ Henry Maier Festival Park
Day/night two of PrideFest offers even more entertainment options than the opening night. Head to Henry Maier Festival Park to enjoy comedians, a tribute to Lady Gaga, an aerial burlesque show, a lively DJ set by DJ Shawna, and much more.

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ Season 7 RuViewing Party with Marbella Sodi @ DIX
The long-awaited all winners season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars is currently streaming on Paramount+. If you’d rather not pay for a subscription, you can head over to DIX and watch all the action unfold as it airs on VH1. Who will be crowned QUEEN. OF. ALL. QUEENS? We are, of course, rooting for Jaida Essence Hall, the Season 12 winner who calls Milwaukee home. Look over there!

Orville Peck + The Nude Party @ The Pabst Theater
We’re not sure whether having Orville Peck in town during PrideFest was intentional, but the timing couldn’t be better. The masked country music up-and-comer and gay icon comes to The Pabst Theater on June 3, where he’ll treat Milwaukee to live versions of songs off Bronco, his recently-released sophomore album. The Nude Party opens, and we’re not discounting the very real possibility of a Trixie Mattel cameo at some point as well.

Trixie Motel Premiere on Discovery+
Speaking of Trixie, is there anything Wisconsin-born, Milwaukee mainstay Trixie Mattel can’t do? She’s a cosmetics mogul. She’s a musician. She’s a DJ. She’s…a hotelier? Yep! (Well, she’s technically a motelier. Tomato, tomato!) If a Friday night on the couch sounds better than a Friday night in the club, you’re in luck. Catch the first episode of Trixie Motel on Discovery+ and watch the larger-than-life-size Barbie transform a drab Palm Springs motel into a hot pink paradise. We’ve heard a few scenes were shot here in Milwaukee, so keep an eye out!

Saturday, June 4

PrideFest @ Henry Maier Festival Park
With all due respect to the two days that preceded it, PrideFest saved its biggest and its best for the third and final day of the festival. In addition to the impressive list of musicians, DJs, authors, experts, and children’s performers, June 4 will also features a drag performance by Season 14 RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants Alyssa Hunter, June Jambalaya, Maddy Morphosis, and Jasmine Kennedie.

SERV PRIDE with special guest Roxxxy Andrews @ This Is It!
She’s Roxxxy Andrews and she’s here to make it clear. The two-time Drag Race contestant (and one third of Rolaskatox) is famous for her self-described “thick and juicy” body and scene-stealing storytelling abilities. She was also one of the first queens to receive a controversial “villain edit” during her season. By now, Roxxy is a bona fide RPDR icon—and it comes as no surprise the legendary queen was chosen to close This Is It!’s Pride Week celebration with a bang. Saturday night, Roxxxy will take the stage at This Is It! alongside a charismatic cast of local and regional queens.

Sunday, June 5

Milwaukee Pride Parade @ Second Street
After taking 2020 and 2021 off on account of the pandemic, Milwaukee Pride Parade returns in full force in 2022. At 2 p.m. this Sunday, the mile-long parade will begin on Second Street (near the corner of Greenfield Avenue) in Walker’s Point and make its way to the intersection of Second and Oregon Street.

MKE Pride Afterparty @ Cactus Club
Cactus Club will host a “queer variety show” on Sunday, June 5 that features performances by Amethyst Von Trollenberg, Rat Bath, Orange Drink, Dora Diamond, Kat And The Hurricane, and Janelle Dumott.

Fat DIX Pride Block Party @ DIX and Fat Daddy’s
While PrideFest itself will be over, the party will just be getting started at DIX and Fat Daddy’s. The bars will once again combine forces on the Fat DIX Pride Block Party, which will take place on National Avenue (between First and Second streets). From noon to 10 p.m., the block will be bumping with a steady diet of DJs—including DJ James Fresh Luggage, DJ B, DJ Femme Noir, and DJ Mel-Down—and a 4:30 p.m. “Drag Extravaganza” hosted by Miss Spencer and Marbella Sodi that features 15 drag performers. And yes, there will be plenty of food and drink options on hand.

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