June is National LGBT Pride Month and Minnesotans have five marvelous LGBT-friendly ways to celebrate. Check out these events as they are open and welcoming to the entire community. Many Minnesota organizations are underwriting these events under the leadership of Twin Cities Pride in order to foster inclusion, create awareness and celebrate the realization of equality. Relive past events by going to the previously published article, Guide To The Twin Cities Pride Festival.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Twin Cities Pride Family Picnic
Como Park East Picnic Pavilions
1199 Midway Parkway
Saint Paul, MN 55108
(651) 487-8201

Date: June 21, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Price: Free food, beverages and games

Families will not want to miss this annual Como Park outdoor social event. Not only are the food and beverages free, but kids will have a blast in the inflatable castle, getting their face painted, or donning a crazy hairdo. This family-oriented event is drug and alcohol-free. Previous events have attracted over 800 guests.

Twin Cities Pride Presents An Evening Of Classic Lily Tomlin
Orchestra Hall
1111 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 371-5600

Date: June 25, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Price: $40 to $99 plus a $5 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

A hallmark of Lily Tomlin is her staying power—more than most other American comediennes. You may have already seen the newly released Netflix series as Lily stars with Jane Fonda in “Grace and Frankie.” Then, later this year look for Tomlin in a new film dubbed “Grandma.” It brought rave reviews at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. While the concert should be an uninterrupted 90 minutes, attendees may wish to allow for time after her performance because Ms. Tomlin will entertain questions and answers. Order early, as Margaret Cho packed the house in the 2014 Twin Cities Pride kick off.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Pride Festival
Loring Park
1382 Willow St.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 255-3260

Dates: June 27 – June 28, 2015
Price: Daytime free; evening concert is $10 advance general admission

Pride Festival started in 1972 as a small picnic in Loring Park. Now a mega-event, it attracts national entertainers and favorite local acts live on the Loring Stage at the center of the Park. See a wide range of creative talent, divas, male and female impersonators, dance teams and theatrical acts at the Stonewall Stage. While you are there, be sure to check out the very popular Power to the People Stage. You may catch an innovative musical performance, spoken word, or fun DJ acts there. Saturday’s festivities are followed by an extravaganza Pride in Concert at 6 p.m. featuring Mayda, Hunter Valentine, Peaches, and Deborah Cox. The evening is crowned with fantastic fireworks around 10 p.m.

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Rainbow Run 5K
Nicollet Island Pavilion
40 Power St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 255-3260

Date: Sun. June 28, 2015 with registration at 8:30 a.m.
Price: $40 on race day, discounts for early registration.

Race down Hennepin Avenue or come as a spectator and stay for the parade that follows. Runners leave Boom Island at 9:30 a.m. and must arrive at Loring Park by 10:30 a.m. Wells Fargo and Delta Airlines sponsor the race with backing from St. Jude Medical and Anderson Race Management.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Ashley Rukes LGBT Pride Parade
Hennepin Avenue to Loring Park
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Date: June 28, 2015 at 11 a.m.
Price: Free

Plan to line up with well over 125,000 people on Hennepin Avenue as The 2015 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade shows its colors on Sunday morning. View over 125 floats, marching bands, Drag Queens and countless marchers embodying the diversity of the GLBT rainbow family. This institution, arranged annually since 1972, is the largest parade of its kind in the five-state area. Every local news organization will be there, too.

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Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.