Essential Items You Need To Pack Before Heading To A Pride Parade

It's officially June, meaning Pride Month is here, along with all the celebration that comes with it. Cities will be bustling with people adorned in colorful outfits, waving rainbow flags, and dancing in the streets during the pride parades and festivals throughout the month. These jubilant celebrations are a special time that honors and acknowledges the fight for equality for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as celebrates LGBTQ+ identities.

New York City hosted the first pride parade in 1970 and other cities around the country followed suit. Soon, June became the official pride month all around the world. June pride celebrations take place in Europe, East Asia, Australia, and more.

Once you locate a parade near you, you can start prepping for the eventful day. In addition to planning out the fun things, like your outfit, how you'll do your makeup, and which friends you're going with, don't forget the following essentials that can help ensure your day runs smoothly.

Food and drink

Staying hydrated in the hot weather is key for your health. If you're parched, it's hard to be in the moment, so keep a water bottle on hand. Staying hydrated helps prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke, two serious matters that can be avoided.

In addition to hydration, consider nutrition. There's no need to find yourself hangry when you're supposed to be having fun. Bring some easy-to-eat snacks like granola bars or apples along with you. That way, you don't have to give up your spot to find some food during the parade or wait in long lines.

SPF and first aid essentials

It's June, meaning the sun will likely be out, and even if it's not, its rays can reach beyond the clouds and can harm your skin. Bring some sunscreen and slather it everywhere to prevent sunburn and other skin issues. Don't forget to reapply! The general rule of thumb is to do so every two hours.

Pack a first aid kit as well. Items like band aids and Neosporin can help you out if you or your friends suffer any minor injuries. You might get blisters on your feet, or accidentally scrape your arm — it's best to be prepared.

Cash on hand

Bringing cash is always a good idea. You may want to buy additional pride paraphernalia, or you may want to grab a bite to eat. Regardless of your plans, having cash makes these matters easy. Sometimes, there are vendors at pride parades and festivals that accept cash only, so having a few bills at the ready will enable you to make your purchases without any hassle. So, instead of having to search for the nearest ATM and possibly wait in a long line, you can make life a little bit easier by packing some cash in your bag.

Comfy shoes

As tempting as it is to say, "Beauty is pain!" and wear a pair of heels or fashionable shoes that don't fit quite right — don't. Obviously it's up to you, but we highly recommend wearing a comfortable pair of shoes. You'll be on your feet all day. You'll likely be standing, walking, and generally adventuring throughout the day, and dancing is always a possibility. Protect your feet from blisters and aches by opting for a comfy pair of shoes.

Charged devices

If you're heading out with a group, communication is key. Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can keep in contact with everyone. If someone gets lost, they're only a call away if both your phones are charged. If your phone battery can only hold a low charge, don't hesitate to grab a portable charger. This applies to those going alone as well, since you never know when you'll need to send a text or make a call. Additionally, you can't take photos and videos with a dead phone. Make sure you can capture the festivities by bringing along a fully charged phone (and a charger if necessary). 

Prepare for the weather

Check the weather before heading out the door, and don't forget to grab a sweatshirt or jacket, especially if you get cold easily. It might be sunny and bright when you head out, but a breeze may pick up later, or the temperature could drop once the sun sets, or you could be grabbing food in a restaurant that has the AC turned on high. Essentially, what we're saying is make sure you're prepared for any weather or climate by including a jacket or sweatshirt when you're picking out your pride clothes.

Makeup refresh must-haves

Pride is a time where self-expression thrives. You'll see some fantastic outfits, and equally stunning makeup looks. If you're one of the many who plans on dedicating time and energy to perfecting a colorful makeup look, be sure to pack a couple of beauty supplies to touch up your makeup. A compact mirror, mascara, eyeliner, and lip products are a good place to start. You can customize which products you bring depending on what your look needs. Keep your bold look from fading by reapplying when need be.