Ah Pride! It’s the event that we’ve all been waiting for. It’s time to get together your most fabulous outfit and take to the streets with rainbow accessories galore.
You can expect sunshine, singing, booze, and brilliant memories that you’ll never forget.
Of course, the last thing you want is for those memories to become tarnished because you left some much-needed items at home.
While you should be preparing for the best time of your life, the preparation doesn’t stop there.
Most of your necessities you’ll find within the festival and venue, however, there are a few things that it’s vital you bring along with you.
Some practical, some playful, all essential. Throughout this article, you’ll see the top ten items you should never come to a Pride event without.
1. Water, Water, Water
And just in case the title wasn’t enough, I’ll say it one more time. Water. Do not come to a pride event without water – that’s one way to ensure that you won’t make it through the entire night.
For the most part, Pride events take place during those hot summer months. You’ll spend the day under a scorching and unrelenting sun which will dehydrate you at the best of times.
Factor in all the dancing, drinking, and partying, and your body is sure to be screaming for some water. I know that we all say we want to dance until we drop, but I don’t think anyone means that literally.
Alcohol dehydrates you further, and you’ll lose a lot of liquid sweating when you’re dancing. So you want to make sure that you’ve got a big bottle of water to quench your thirst.
Just ensure that it is sealed or you may not be able to bring it into the event. Once in there are usually plenty of places where you can refill your drink.
2. Sun Protection – Sunblock, Shades, & Hat
While bright colors and vibrancy are all encouraged for pride events, nobody wants to be a blisteringly burnt red color because they forgot sunblock.
Before you get carried away in the hustle and bustle of the event make sure that you’ve slathered on a healthy portion of sunblock.
Remember that these events take place in quite warm weather and you don’t want to have to go home early because you’ve given yourself sunstroke.
Wearing a hat and shades will also make this less likely, and will just generally make the day much more comfortable.
Have you ever been trying to enjoy a day with the sun shining into your eyes? That sun-squint look won’t go well with your outfit, so grab yourself some fabulously extra sunnies and pop them on for the day.
3. A Cool And Colorful Outfit
Speaking of outfits, you cannot attend a pride parade in a mundane and boring outfit – that’s unheard of.
While you don’t have to wrap yourself up in a rainbow flag and glitter, Pride is generally a chance to stand out without a fear of being judged. So why not go all out?
You’ll see all ends of the spectrum at a Pride event. Some sport simple colorful clothes while others are fully dressed in drag, while others go so far out of the box it’s hard to know where all that creativity comes from.
You don’t have to worry about not fitting in as here you’ll find some of the most flamboyant outfits and costumes known to man.
It’s all about having fun. Wear something you love that you may not ordinarily have the chance to wear or would feel out of place in.
Acceptance is the main vibe of the whole event so you really need not worry about judging looks or criticism – it won’t happen here.
4. Comfy Footwear
Pride goes on all day and all night, so shoes that start to rub within the hour are a big no-no. Unless hobbling around after floats and dancing with burning blisters is your thing, which I can’t imagine is anyone’s thing.
You want shoes that are breathable and easy to walk, dance, jump, and skip about it. Sneakers are probably your best option.
Do not – and I say this as firmly as possible – do not wear flip-flops. I cringe internally at every pride event when I see someone wearing these flimsy open-toed shoes.
Just in case you can’t see why I’m against them, let me give you a few reasons:
- Flimsy – You’ll definitely regret wearing these shoes when within a couple of minutes of being at the event they have broken and ripped apart. While you’ll find plenty of vendors at the festival they will be selling tasty treats and boozy beverages. It’s not likely you’ll be able to purchase any new footwear.
- Melting – Remember we spoke about the heat? Well, sometimes it can get so hot that they melt away.
- Open-Toe Issues – You’re either going to end up with sticky toes from spilled drinks, or someone is going to stand on your foot and you’ll be limping for the rest of the night. Neither is ideal.
5. Rainbow Flags
It’s pride and you should be raising your flag high and proud…quite literally. It would be almost rude to go to a Pride event without a pride flag.
So get those hands (and flags) in the air and wave them like you just don’t care!
Usually whistling is an absolute pet peeve of mine, but there are exceptions to every rule. Sure in ordinary circumstances someone whistling right beside you is super annoying but this is no ordinary circumstance.
It’s gay pride! We’ve got to go all out on everything we do and that includes the noise that we’re making. So don’t forget your whistle!
Screaming into the crowd all day will only rip your throat apart. A whistle makes things a little easier.
7. A Witty Sign
While pride has become a little like party-central for most members of the community, it’s important to always remember that Pride still has a political purpose.
It’s not all about the glitz and glam, it’s about showing the world that everyone deserves the same rights regardless of who they are and who they love.
So get creative and make yourself a sign with a witty and clever sign and march on!
Make sure you take a trip to the ATM before you head into any pride event as you’ll need cash to purchase from pretty much any vendor inside.
There do tend to be ATMs inside the festival which you can use, but you’ll probably miss half of the day queuing up in those never-ending lines. If you think queues for the toilets are bad…
There is talk of trying to make events contactless payment friendly but better to be safe than sorry. And you’ll be less likely to tap tap tap away if there’s money in your wallet.
9. A Fanny Pack
If you’re taking cash, you’re going to want somewhere to pop all that money, and that’s preferably in a place where it’s not likely to get stolen. Enter the fanny pack.
They’re a great hands-free way to hold all your essentials so you can dance the night away without a heavy bag on your shoulders.
Not only are they great for cash, but they’re also perfect for any other essentials for the day and night such as snacks, mints, band-aids, house keys, etc.
10. A Handheld Fan
Trust me, you’ll thank me for this later. Pride can get hot. And sometimes no amount of water or shade will bring you that sweet relief you are looking for.
There’s nothing like dripping in sweat and then feeling a breeze on your face. It refreshes you and keeps you going.
You can choose between a mini electric fan or a more traditional pericon fan. Personally, I always go for the latter, because it’s less likely to break and doesn’t rely on batteries.
Plus it’s the perfect accessory for a little bit of a flirt when paired with a flutter of the eyelids.
Once you have all 10 items there are really only a few things left until you’re all set and ready to go.
The only things you’ll need now are an open mind and your positivity and pride and voila you have the perfect recipe for a wonderful day at a pride event.
As you’ll have hopefully noticed from the article, the main things that you’ll need are items that will combat the brutal sun which can do more damage than you would expect.
Other than that you just need a few fun items and props to make the day much more fun and exciting.
Whichever Pride event you are planning to attend this summer, I hope you have the best time and stay safe. Keep being you and show the world just how beautiful and wonderful you are!