Another Beautiful Day in the Gayborhood for Philly’s Outfest

Outfest, which is organized by Philly Pride Presents, was held on October 7.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Outfest, which is organized by Philly Pride Presents, was held on October 7.

This year was the twenty-eighth annual Outfest, a festival celebrating National Coming Out

Day in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. Outfest took place on October 7 and is hosted by Philly Pride Presents. The festival covers about ten blocks of the Gayborhood in Washington Square West from Chestnut to Pine Street between 11th and Broad Street, making it an event few wanted to miss.

This Outfest, over 30,000 people came to celebrate. The streets were filled with hundreds of vendors and fun activities for people to participate in. One of the senior advisors at Philly Pride, Chuck Voltz, who has been working for the corporation for 25 years, said “the beautiful weather on Sunday made the event even better.”

This year, there were no out of the ordinary events that made this year different than the last. At Outfest, it appears that every year is more and more successful, bringing in thousands of people to join the celebration. Frannie Price, another employee of Philly Pride, said that “the event is always successful” and “just hope[s] that it continues.”

Event organizers expected such a large turn out this year that the city closed down multiple streets and redirected mass transportation. The events that occurred included food carts and booths. The restaurants in the area always make themselves a large part of the event with their own activities. There were LGBTQ pride flags waving through the streets and in restaurants. Other vendors sold t-shirts, books, trinkets and more up and down the streets of the Gayborhood.

The outcome of people coming to support this year’s National Coming Out Day celebration was truly remarkable. 139 couples registered from all over as well as thousands of single people came to celebrate their freedom.

Some events at the festival that people loved to participate in was looking at how all of the businesses celebrated. Local Gayborhood stores and restaurants turn their inside and outside into a festive tribute to the Outfest. Everyone’s decorations are different, and the streets are even adorned in rainbow colors, showing another display of inclusivity.

Although there was nothing particularly special this year, the whole event is really what was exceptional. Voltz said that although event started out in 1990 as a smaller festival, the event has grown substantially over the years. Now, the event gathers tens of thousands of people annually, making Outfest the biggest coming-out celebration in the world. This year reached record numbers with people bringing friends, loved ones, and even their pets!

Voltz said that this year has brought “a lot more visibility to the Gayborhood” and hopes that this continues in years to come. It is an amazing way for people to meet others going through similar situations as them and celebrate who they are without fear.

People dressed up in crazy costumes, mostly in rainbow, with music blasting through the streets on floats and in businesses throughout the morning. Even after the event ended at noon, the festivities of the day continued. Multiple restaurants and businesses had even more fun than usual with parties around every corner. It did not take much convincing to keep patrons partying well into the night.

Philly Pride Presents is able to host such amazing events because of their sponsors. These include Aramark, TD Bank, Ally, and many other companies that publicly support the LGBTQ community.