Each June, the Pride March takes over New York City for an entire day—a beautiful thing! This massive event will be bigger and better in 2019 as WorldPride descends on the city, bringing millions of visitors with it. But getting around town, finding the right place to park as a spectator, and knowing how to handle the crowds is no easy task. We’re here to help with some handy, practical tips for the 2019 Pride March on June 30.
Last year, the Pride March route changed in anticipation of WorldPride. The new path, which begins in Chelsea and ends in NoMad, is predicted to better accommodate the enormous crowds. Step-off occurs at West 16th Street and 7th Avenue, processing south into the West Village. The March will turn left at Christopher Street and The Stonewall Inn. The march will then travel along West 8th Street in Greenwich Village and turn left at the Washington Square Arch, processing north on 5th Avenue. The route ends at 29th Street and 5th Avenue. See the 2019 Pride March route.
Step-off for the March occurs at noon on Sunday, June 30. Most likely, the March will be officially scheduled as a 5-hour event (as it was last year), but chances are it will run until 9 or 10pm (…like last year).
Know When and Where to Go
You and your group should establish a clear plan of action before wading into the chaos of the March. For watching the March, pick a meeting time and place, and stick to it. If you plan to stand near the Stonewall Inn where the LGBTQ movement started, be sure you come a few hours early. In fact, the West Village and Greenwich Village will definitely be the most crowded, so plan accordingly. If you’re looking at a less congested space like the Fifth Avenue corridor in Flatiron, you can come mid-afternoon and hopefully find a decent spot. Remember that the later you wait to watch the march, the crowds will be more massive and more rowdy (and, let’s be honest, probably more sweaty).
A special sight during the March is the large number of spectators watching from apartments, offices, fire escapes, and rooftops above the festivities. You too can be one of these people if you know someone who lives or works along the March route. Now’s the time to bother them about a March party! There are also other parties and events besides the March scheduled for June 30. Strategize with your crew about when to head out and how to travel to your next destination. This will help you push through the street congestion with a bit more confidence as you get you where you’re going.
If you plan to travel by car or bus the day of the March, many streets will be blocked off to accommodate floats and participants—not to mention spectators. Official street closures have not yet been announced, but proceedings for the 2018 march can help us know what to expect. Last year, Chelsea streets from 15th to 19th between 6th and 9th Avenues were closed off so that floats and participants could prepare to enter the march. Obviously the streets of the march route (see above) will be closed to traffic as well. Fifth Avenue will presumably be closed from 8th Street to 33rd Street, as it was last year. Expect closures on the east-west streets in NoMad too (29th-33rd Streets between Madison and 6th Avenues). Last year, these street closures remained in effect from 11am to 6pm.
Your ability to cross streets will be very limited during the Pride March, and if you’re trying to meet up with friends it can be quite a headache. That’s because the New York Police Department (NYPD) will set up waist-high steel barricades to border the sidewalks along the March route. These barricades often extend across street corners as well, meaning you might not be able to walk the short distance north from 15th to 16th Street on Seventh Avenue, for example. There will be many uniformed police officers stationed along the barricades directing foot traffic as well. While the NYPD likely won’t release information about pedestrian pathways the day of the March, the unfortunate truth is this: expect to walk pretty far out of your way if you need to cross from one side of the March to the other.
Subway Lines Near the March Route
The Pride March is accessible to many major subway lines, including the A/C/E, B/D/F/M, N/R/Q/W, 4/5/6, and 1/2/3. You’ll be tempted to take the 1/2/3 to stations like Christopher Street or 14th Street, but that area will be extremely congested. Consider getting off at Union Square (4/5/6, N/R/Q/W) or the 14th Street stop on the A/C/E. You may also have success taking the 6th Avenue line (B/D/F/M) and walking west to Seventh Avenue or east to Fifth Avenue to view the March. Overall, expect the trains to travel at a slower pace than normal, and know you’ll be wading through massive crowds just about anywhere within walking distance of the March. Barricades will slow down your walk from the subway too. For general subway tips in NYC, look here.
It’s inevitable that you’ll need a bathroom close by at some point during the March. Here’s a map of public restrooms you can use near the route. Thank us later.
Weather & Supplies
While we can’t predict the weather (sorry!), we’re counting on another sunny, hot day for June 30 this year. Wear a hat and light, loose clothing, and don’t forget sunscreen! Drink lots of water too, and carrying snacks can only help. No matter the weather, the March will occur in rain or shine.
The March organizers work closely with the NYPD on the March route and security. There are expected to be thousands of uniformed and plainclothes police officers assigned to the March to control the crowds and maintain a safe environment for everyone. For your personal security, be sure to travel with friends you trust during this important event. If you plan on drinking during the day, consider designating a Sober Sam in your crew who can help keep an eye out on behalf of the group. See the NYPD and Mayor’s office guidelines for staying safe at WorldPride 2019.
Stream the March
The March will be televised live on June 30! If you’d rather observe from an uncrowded, un-sweaty distance, consider watching the event on TV at a bar, restaurant, hotel room, or home.
Where to Stay
The first thing you need to know about lodging: book it ASAP! With millions of visitors coming to hotels and home-stays during Pride, competition is high for a great room in a convenient location. You can look first at our listing of hotels and B&Bs. WorldPride organizers have also compiled a list of hotel partners, which you can find here. They include the hip Ace Hotel in NoMad, the airy Arlo Soho, and the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Right now, many of them offer discounts for WorldPride guests. If you’re looking for an affordable place that also makes you feel like a New Yorker, consider an Airbnb. Through this service, New Yorkers open their homes to travelers and receive a kickback for hosting. As a rule, your room will be less expensive if you book it in an outer borough like Brooklyn, but keep in mind you’ll also be farther from Pride festivities, most of which are held in Manhattan. In a cursory search of Airbnbs available Pride Week, we found a private room in Bushwick, Brooklyn for $41 a night, as well as an entire apartment for rent at $147 a night on the Upper East Side.
How to Relax
2019 is the first time WorldPride is welcoming CBD sponsors! While WorldPride is going to be an amazing time, the Big Apple can feel a bit overcrowded and frantic. But don’t worry, cbdMD has got you covered. You can reduce the stress with CBD tinctures, satisfy your sweet tooth with CBD gummies, revitalize and recharge with CBD topicals, relax and recuperate with soothing bath bombs and CBD PM.
Learn more about cbdMD’s products. Use code PRIDE at checkout for your readers to receive 20% off.
If you liked the NYC Survival Guide, be sure to check out this more serious survival guide: NYPD, Mayor’s Office Offer Tips to Stay Safe During WorldPride Want WorldPride content notifications? Sign up for email updates. Want to receive Metrosource LGBTQ content notifications? Sign up for MetroEspresso.