2019 Twin Cities Pride Festival Guide

Illustration by Gina Glynn

Festival FAQ

The Basics

Loring Park is open from Saturday, June 22 from 10am–10pm, and Sunday, June 23 from 10am–6pm. The Twin Cities Pride festival will always be free of charge and we invite people of all ages and abilities to celebrate with us.

What’s new or different this year?

Accessible parking: There’s no parking on Harmon Place this year. It’s been moved to Maple Street, just around the corner.

New rideshare pickup: A third Lyft pickup has been designated on Harmon Place.

More beer! A second beer garden has been added in the Purple Zone near the Stonewall Stage and food court.

New drinks system: Beer can now be purchased with cash or credit directly at the point of sale in either beer garden. Wristbands are applicable to both gardens.

Pedestrian bridge is open: Please use the bridge if you need to cross Hennepin.

Getting there

Where is handicap-accessible parking? Please see our full list of accessible accommodations on page 46.

Can I get a bus pass? Check Metro Transit’s website for ride vouchers.

Where is bike parking? In the horseshoe courts in the Purple Zone. There will be a Nice Ride valet from 10am–7pm both days at Harmon Place and Maple Street.

Where can I catch a rideshare? Uber/Lyft pickups are on 15th Street near Hennepin, in the cul-de-sac where Willow Street meets Yale Place, and now on Harmon Place.

Is there any car parking nearby? The MCTC parking ramp is available. Check the Parking Panda app for private spaces as well.


Is the TLC show sold out? At press time, Pride In Concert still has general admission tickets remaining. A link to the ticketing site can be found at tcpride.org. Loring Park will remain open for non-ticket holders until 10pm on Saturday the 22nd.

Do the stage performers get paid? They do, thanks to the Minnesota State Arts Board.

In the park

Are there free water stations? Three of them, near both food courts and the Tretter pavilion.

Do you have an app? Get up-to-the-minute info by downloading “Twin Cities Pride” on iOS or Android. There are also info booths in every zone of the park.

Where can I find a list of all the vendors in the park? On that app! But also, we’ll distribute flyers in the park with all booth numbers and locations.

Can I volunteer? We’d love your help! Contact us at tcpride.org/volunteers

Photo by Rebecca Jean Lawrence


Every year, Twin Cities Pride works hard to ensure that the Loring Park festival grounds and Pride Parade route are accessible to people of all needs and abilities. We’ll update this list as more information becomes available. 

ASL & Interpreter coordinator booth: At the park entrance of Grant and Willow.

Autism tent: There is an escape space near the garden in the Yellow Zone.

Bathrooms: ADA port-a-potties are located throughout the park.

Interpreters for stage performances: ASL interpreters will be posted for performances on the Loring Stage and the Stonewall stage. All other stages/performances can have interpretation arranged for our Deaf, DeafBlind, or Hard of Hearing guests by sending a request by June 15, 2019, to tcprideinterpreters@gmail.com. 

Lactation station: The Time of Birth lactation station and changing booth is number G29, near the canoe rides in the Green Zone.

Medical tents: First aid booths can be found in the Green Zone and Purple Zone.

Parade: There will be ASL interpreters and an ADA viewing location—their locations are not yet finalized as of this printing. Stay tuned to @twincitiespride social media as these details are finalized.

Parking: Handicap parking is reserved on West 15th Street and Maple Street. There is no parking on Harmon Street (this is different than in years’ past.)

Pride In Concert

There are a limited number of ADA tickets available, which reserve space on a platform for wheelchair users. There will be an ADA port-a-potty available near this seating area. Tickets are available through the main ticketing link at tcpride.org/pride-in-concert

Note: There are large, grassy hill areas outside of the platform area which is located directly off of the walking path.

ASL interpreters will be available during Pride In Concert and there are tickets available for the viewing area near the interpreter at the same ticket link above.

Wheelchair charging and rental: At vendor central, near the Grant and Willow entrance on the east side of the park. There are a limited number of manual wheelchairs available for use on a first come first serve basis.

For more information, or to leave feedback for Pride on how to improve its accessibility efforts, message kris.ouellette@tcpride.org.

UPDATE: Sunday, June 23 from 12:45- 1:15 PM, Miss Shuga-Shots will perform on the Stonewall Stage.

Performer Directory

Allota Shots

A Twin Cities drag entertainer and the host of two amazing showcases at Gay 90’s—a talent search show every Wednesday night and a monthly comedy show called #STUPIDSELLS—Allota Shots is excited to be back again as an emcee for Pride.

All God’s Children Music Ministry Team

With a team of committed, high-quality volunteer musicians and singers, the Music Ministry Team enriches worship celebrations and strengthens the church’s faith. Styles vary from Dixieland Jazz to traditional hymns, contemporary pop, rock, gospel, contemporary praise, and worship. Through music, they let the world know how fun and moving good church can be.

Anjel “Little Hurricane” 

Nine-year-old Anjel “Little Hurricane,” along with her seven-year-old sister Isa, who also performs with her as a background vocalist and dancer, has performed at several festivals in Minnesota including Grand Old Day, Ecuadorian Independence Day, and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

Audra and The New Black

Audra and The New Black is made up of five seasoned Twin Cities musicians. Playing rock, R&B, and recent Top 40, their song list includes hits by P!nk, The Doors, U2, Paramore, Kelly Clarkson, Walk The Moon, and many more.

Barb // Photo by Ryan Coit Photography


A Twin Cities hostess extraordinaire, Barb is happy to be back emceeing with Twin Cities Pride this year. Most days Barb can be found slinging Jell-O shots at The Saloon. In her free time she enjoys…TOPS!


BE is an up-and-coming non-binary pop artist, born and raised in the Twin Cities.

Big FAT Comedy Hour

The Big FAT Comedy Hour is generally held on the third Sunday of the month at LUSH, a riotous mix of professional comedians, drag, burlesque, and more. It’s produced by local favorite Sarah McPeck, a comedian, improv actor, and out-and-proud lesbian who keeps the show moving at a fast pace and always has a few tricks up her sleeve.

B.J. Armani’s Cabaret

B.J. Armani has been a drag king for over a decade, and in that time has spearheaded several shows to benefit countless community organizations. The main B.J. Armani’s Cabaret show is held monthly at the American Legion in East Grand Forks, hosting entertainers from all over the Midwest.

Blacc Phoenix

Born in St. Louis and raised in Minnesota, Blacc Phoenix is an up-and-coming hip-hop and rap artist, whose inspired lyrics and great dancing deliver performances of pure entertainment.

Blaze Bordeaux

Minnesota’s Karaoke King, Blaze Bordeaux loves to show off his soulful voice and shiny suit. “I’m a magical singing, dancing, glitter-farting unicorn! And I like it! So let me just sing for you! Lol.”

The Bloodies

The Bloodies are Bloody Holly (vox), Chelsea Oxblood (guitar), Kim Crimson (bass), and Butcher Pete (drums). The songs are short, sweet, and full of resistance, influenced by the Riot Grrrl, Horror Punk, Postpunk, and darkwave movements. Imagine if Danzig and Siouxie Sioux and Nick Cave went to a gay bar for drinks. Their latest EP, “The Dirty First,” will drop in spring 2019.

Chase Vibe

Chase Vibe is a North Minneapolis–based hip-hop artist. He is inspired by a vast array of genres, resulting in a unique soundscape. In 2018, he released a trap-inspired EP called “Vignettes” that wrestles with themes of depression, identity, injustice, and social media addiction, while not sacrificing the energy and fun that’s expected of his music.

Clothing Optional Cabaret // Photos by Grinkie Girls, Metrostyle, Maddie Mercil, Cierra Taylor

Clothing Optional Cabaret

A queer group of innovative artists, Clothing Optional Cabaret has been captivating audiences throughout Minneapolis–St. Paul since 2015. This ensemble specializes in new, creative work using song, burlesque, gender-bending drag, theater, and more. While the clothing may be optional, entertainment certainly is not!

The Common Ground Company

The Common Ground Company is a genre-melding string band. Their sound has evolved over the years, combining elements of rock, jazz, country, and soul with their bluegrass instruments. Their large catalog of originals and covers showcases their expansive and captivating sound. It’s newgrass, with a little bit of party.

Corey McDonald

Corey McDonald began his musical journey at four years old, singing gospel at his family’s church on the South Side of Chicago. Influenced by Prince, Miguel, and Usher, McDonald’s blend of soul and contemporary R&B can be heard on his 2018 debut album, “Still Here.”

DJ David B 

Playing music for the Twin Cities’ LGBTQ clubs for over 20 years, you can find David B spinning house, pop, and disco every Friday at LUSH during happy hour from 5–9pm. David is also co-owner of TwinCitiesGayScene.com with his husband Cory.

DJ Sprunk

An experienced DJ, but also an accomplished recording artist and songwriter, dancer/choreographer, musician and entertainer, DJ Sprunk knows how to get the party started and keep it going. 

DJ Travvy Trav

A skilled, enthusiastic, and creative DJ from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dragged Out

Entertaining crowds around the Twin Cities for over a decade! Xavier produces this cast, which mainly consists of kings, as well as some very special guests from the queen and burlesque worlds. You can see Dragged Out every third Friday at Black Hart of St. Paul.


Raised on the southside of Minneapolis, Alyssa Ann Desantis, aka Flaw’Lyss, is a laid back, straight-to-the-point rapper influenced by Lil Kim, Missy Elliot, Erykah Badu, and many more. She’s released two mixtapes, “Price’Lyss” and “Heart’Lyss” with her third, “21,” on its way.


A four-piece self-proclaimed supergroup consisting of the sumptuous, sapphic, and sensual Janani Logendran, Angie Lynch, Katya Haskina, and Melissa Tangye—who have joined forces to get your earholes pregnant with their potent grooves, seamlessly flowing from melodic punk to dark and heavy waltzes to bluesy alt-country.

Freedom Jazz!

The premier local 18-piece all-volunteer amateur big band jazz ensemble representing the LGBTQ+ and Allied Community. A select ensemble of the Minnesota Freedom Band, they play jazz and swing classics as well as Latin and light rock numbers. 

g’Beau & Ivy League

g’Beau (pronounced “je-bo”) is self-billed as “SoulPop” and fits comfortably in the neo-soul movement. They’re musicians well-versed in a genre that ranges from soft ripples on an acoustic guitar to the sharp punches of a six-person brass section, fronted by a smooth falsetto.

Gosh Alice Jones

Gosh Alice Jones has been performing and volunteering all over Minnesota for years, sharing her message of unconditional love and acceptance. Starting her drag career in Provincetown, Massachusetts, before honing her craft in Rochester, Minnesota, she lives in Bloomington with her rescue dog, Mamma Mia.


Granddad is a queer emo band from Minneapolis by way of Fairbanks, Alaska. They have released three studio recordings with a new full-length album, “Quitter,” released August 2018. The music combines the crunch of ’90s emo with the catchiness of early ’00s pop-punk and their own confessional and vulnerable lyricism focusing on queer love and relationships.

Hot Pink Hangover

Hot Pink Hangover is your permission slip to cut loose! When you are tired of the grind and the bad news, Hot Pink Hangover reminds you that there is still fun to be had! Let’s PAINT THE TOWN PINK!

IC Kings

A drag king troupe in Iowa City, they’ve been bending gender and performing monthly for your voyeuristic delight since 2009. They are Joey D, a versatile performer who really loves the ladies, Chey Boi, who’s ready to take this world by storm and make himself known, and Matt Adore, a real charmer with a passion for vintage style.

Imperial Court of Minnesota

Since 1991, the Imperial Court of Minnesota, the local chapter of the International Court System, has been dedicated to raising awareness in the community and raising funds for charities throughout the state of Minnesota. They strive to produce shows with a diverse group of entertainers—this year, Empress 27 Onya Deek Richards and Regent Empress 27 Tonia Lee Richards will entertain a variety of events planned throughout the state. 

Jaz Steele // Photo by Erikka Steele

Jaz Steele

Jaz Steele is a hip-hop artist and songwriter from North Minneapolis. Currently a student at Norfolk State University studying business to pursue her own way in the music industry, she also raps, sings R&B, gospel, a little bit of jazz, and more. She wants to make people pop, lock, and drop it, and steal the hearts of the crowd (and eventually the world)! 

Jeffery Goodson

Jeffery Goodson is a Twin Cities–based singer-songwriter, actor, and playwright. His play “Shakespeare Ate My Brain” has just been published and his newest album, “Tandem Rhymes, Random Times,” will soon be available. He lives with his husband of over 28 years in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.


Take some funk, soul, rhythm and blues, and a “hit me two times” kind of attitude, mix them all together, and you’ve got KASANO & THE VYBES! A band with a sound that cradles the lyrics and cherishes the nuances, with the goal of pleasure and satisfaction to the soul. Equipped with edge, and also a soulful softness, they weave real experiences into a musical landscape filled to the brim with passion.


With a voice born in rock ’n’ roll and stained by whiskey, KatyBeth’s blend of rock and country pulls from her Wisconsin roots and years in Tennessee. Her lyrics tell stories of hope, heartbreak, and redemption, and her stage performances bring a powerful energy and raw, uncensored emotion.

Kool Breed

Ajia Sanders, aka Kool Breed, is a multi-talented artist born in Indianapolis, Indiana. She began writing poems at age 11, songwriting at 17, and released her first single at 21. Her passion is R&B, pop music, and country pop with a little bit of EDM and hip-hop.

Mae Simpson Music

Originally from Beaufort, South Carolina, Mae Simpson headed to Minneapolis at age 21 where she joined her vocal and guitar talents with Jorgen Wadkins (guitar) and Ricardo Romero (percussion). Influenced by blues, soul, funk, and folk, the trio quickly had a sound worth pursuing and added Keaton Judy (saxophone), Paul Pederson (trumpet), Dave Kellermann (bass), and Scott Thomson (drums).

Martina Marraccino

Martina Marraccino is a powerhouse of positivity! Currently she performs as a full-time cast member, hostess, and producer of Queer Circus, Can Can Theme Parties, and Martina’s Playhouse at Can Can Wonderland. She can also be seen regularly at GLAM! Boylesque, Show Off, and Eggs and Drag Brunch at the Gay 90’s.

Melody Mendis

Exciting vocals and iconic looks are two tools that Melody Mendis uses in her tribute to Barbra Streisand and Lady Gaga. Melody uses her passion for lyrics, classical training, and performance background to create and build an honest and real connection with her audience. Add amazing costumes to her incredible vocals, her hair, and her nails, and you have a tribute worthy of the artistry and passion of Streisand and Gaga.


Queerdo is not just a show, it’s a riot. Featuring the fringe of drag, dance, and burlesque, cast members The Other Jeannie Retelle, Seamus Shenanigan, Trisha Spectacle, and Sissy Tops are on a mission to celebrate authenticity and provide a space for artists to share their own version of queerness. Queerdo features a themed monthly mainstage show at Strike Theater, as well as a weekly show at Troubadour Wine Bar.

Queer Circus // Photo by Kim DePablo

Queer Circus

Since 2017 the Queer Circus has been creating an all-inclusive experience at Can Can Wonderland. Featuring kings, queens, aerialists, clowns, magicians, burlesque, singers, contortionists, musicians, and queerdos of all sorts, come behold the bountiful bevvy of beautiful performers and escape to a circus unlike any you’ve seen before!

Randy DJ

Back again, for the very first time. Randy DJ reprises his 2018 Pride slot with a sequel one year in the making. (Part 2: Electric Boogaloo.) Filled with thoughtfully curated tracks begging to be Shazamed, it’s going to be a dancey, perhaps slightly trancey, sonic celebration of peaks and valleys designed to get you moving as we close out another Pride together.

Rebel Queens

Rebel Queens are a high-energy, all-female rock ’n’ roll band from Minneapolis. Their shows are action-packed sets of vintage, classic rock from AC/DC, Joan Jett, and Led Zeppelin, along with original music featuring their soaring-yet-gritty vocals, screaming guitar solos, tight harmonies, and smooth grooves.

RARE Talent Showcase

RARE Productions is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the work of queer and trans artists of color. It’s lead by Roxanne Anderson, a longtime community activist, 2016 Twin Cities Pride Grand Marshal, and 2018 Bush Fellow. (See our profile of their plans for a new LGBTQ+ community center on page 18.)

Rosie Bottoms 

Rosie Bottoms is a local drag queen who has been captivating audiences for the last three years. Every time her foot hits the stage she commands the room and gives a killer performance. She is excited to be back performing at Pride, one of her favorite events to attend throughout the year.

The Roxxy Hall Band

An eight-piece, all-woman, rock-n-soul band based in Minneapolis, their mantra is “It’s all about having a good time”—and they do! With five singers, their music has multiple layers of harmonies that enhance every piece. They play the first Saturday of every month at the Minnesota Music Café in St. Paul and offer opportunities for women to jam with the band.

Runaway Ricochet // Photo by Ryo Hamasaki

Runaway Ricochet

Twin Cities–based Runaway Ricochet puts a twist on ska/punk, featuring a slightly more complex writing style while staying true to its roots, with influences from Less Than Jake and Streetlight Manifesto to Rx Bandits and Incubus. Their single, “Instead,” reached No. 79 on the American Top 40 Spotify playlist and their sophomore LP, “Gas Station Culture,” was released in August 2018.

Rustina Roze

From the Haus of Roze in Georgia, Rustina Roze has made Minneapolis her new home. This plus-size theater queen is here to show Minneapolis that though she is young, Rustina Roze is far from being rusty, from her amazing vocals on Broadway numbers, to her captivating spoken-word infused lip syncs, to that SICKENING eight-count.

Saddle Sores

The Minneapolis-based Saddle Sores play classic country music from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.  This Twin Cities classic country band is a dance community favorite and a multi-generational crowd pleaser.

Sawyer’s Dream

Inspired by the writings of Mark Twain and the vocal harmonies of bands such as The Mamas & The Papas and Fleetwood Mac, Minneapolis-based Sawyer’s Dream is a unique cross-blending of pop, rock, and soul. Featuring powerhouse female lead vocals and intricate four-part harmonies, their all-original music is engaging, upbeat, and earthy, offering the listener a modern take on the classic rock of the ’60s and ’70s.

Saddle Sores // Photo courtesy of the artists

She Rock She Rock Band

She Rock She Rock is a Minnesota nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls, women, trans, and nonbinary folks through music. They believe creative expression evokes social change, challenges gender stereotypes, and encourages a climate of support within our community. The She Rock She Rock Band embodies confidence, fun, community, joy, and grrrl power, and features professional, working musicians, teaching artists, and staff from their organization. 


Quinn Villagomez, aka Shimmer, is a transgender woman of color who recently joined KFAI as a co-host of Fresh Fruit, the longest-running queer radio program in the country. She is a columnist for Twin Cities Pride Magazine (see her interview with Dave Edwards).

Slay Workshop with Brian Bose

Brian Bose is an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, director, emcee, and international teaching artist. He’s recently performed in “The Lorax” at Children’s Theater Company and “In The Heights” at the Ordway, and is the founder of the Slay Workshop, a hip-hop fusion class where anyone can dance their way to empowerment at the Guthrie Theater.

Strange Development

Quaid has been rapping since age 15. He loves freestyling and experimenting with both beats and flows. Ronnie is a self-described poly-pansexual artist who credits hip-hop as the driving factor in her treatment of a lifetime battle with mental illness. Together they make up Strange Development, a project they describe as fun, upbeat, and goofy.

Suzy Cream Cheese

Made of Cookie Schweitzer and Candy Wyrd, Suzy Cream Cheese is an arresting experience of glowing vocals overlying a duet of guitars. A habitual set includes easy listening, harmonious songs—both originals and covers influenced by folk, classic rock, pop, and inspirational musical genres.


SWEET SIREN is a professional band touring Greater Minnesota and beyond, playing the hottest Top 40 hits along with some classic rock and country favorites. This band puts their own flair to the music with hip arrangements.

Transcendence Cabaret

Transcendence Cabaret offers an up-close and personal experience and a spotlight on often overlooked talent within our unique drag, music, and art community. Transgender, genderqueer, and non-conforming, they aim to entertain, push themselves as artists, and to make art from the heart and soul. Ready to go above and beyond the binary? Let them be your guide.

Tim Dooley of Timisarocker // Photo by Emily Winters


Named after lead singer Tim Dooley, Timisarocker was formed as a four-piece punk band from St. Paul, Minnesota, in 2014. Over the years their style and sound have constantly evolved. With musical influences ranging from every which way, Timisarocker prides itself in not sounding like anyone or anything else. (See our profile of Timisarocker.)


Founded by Sweetpea in 2014, The VIGILANTEASE are a collective of fierce, independent, and radical multi-genre artivists. Burlesque, drag, singers, polers, dancers, DJs, and so much more, they bring talent, passion, and ethics together to create sensual, strong, politically charged, community supportive, fully expressed, gender- and sexuality-fluid performances.

The Von Tramps

Fronted by guitarist/vocalist Jenna Enemy, with Chelsea Oxborough (guitar), Krissandra Anfinson (bass), and Kieran O’Donoghue (drums), the Von Tramps combines sludgy Ramones-esque punk tunes with cheeky lyrics in a new wave of rude girl ska. Their first full-length album, 2018’s “The Future Is Female,” is streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.


Ashley Rukes Pride Parade FAQ

2019 Ashley Rukes Pride Parade Route // Illustration by Gina Glynn

When is the parade? Sunday, June 23, 2019 starting at 11am.

Why is the location different this year? We thought that running a parade through road construction on Hennepin Avenue might not be the best idea.

OK, so what is the new route? 


The Pride Parade will travel down 2nd Avenue South in Downtown Minneapolis, starting at 3rd Street, where the marchers and floats will be staged at the beginning. The parade crosses 12th Street and turns in front of the Minneapolis Convention Center, where the Grandstand and judging stand will be located.

As it curves in front of the Convention Center, 2nd Avenue becomes Grant Street, and the parade finishes its route for two blocks on Grant Street, ending at Lasalle Avenue. Floats will turn on Lasalle to be broken down, and marchers are encouraged to continue straight into Loring Park.

What amenities will be available along the parade route?

  • The Grandstand and Judge’s Table will be in front of the Minneapolis Convention Center, and tickets for those seats are available at this link.
  • A beer garden will be located across the street from the Grandstand in the Convention Center Plaza.
  • Food trucks, port-a-potties, and a Pride merchandise stand will be located on 9th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

Who is marching in the parade? Here are links to the full list of marchers in Numerical Order of their position in the parade and also in Alphabetical Order.

I’m marching in the parade. Where do I check in? The staging area will be on 3rd Street. Check out this participant’s guide to the 2019 Parade.

Who is Ashley Rukes? A transgender woman and a leading figure in the Twin Cities LGBTQ+ community, Ashley Ann Rukes was director of the Twin Cities Pride Festival and the Gay and Lesbian Community Action Council, which later changed its name to OutFront Minnesota.