Philadelphia’s Annual Outfest Celebration Has Been Canceled for 2022
My favorite event of the year was just canceled. Well, sort of.
The city’s annual OutFest street festival and celebration will not take place on Sunday, October 9, as many were hoping.
Of course, this would have marked the first Outfest celebration in Philly since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The news was first published by Philadelphia Gay News on Wednesday (September 28). Organizers were apparently hoping there’d be enough time to plan an event. But the turnaround was ultimately too quick to produce a quality event, epgn.com reports.
However, some local bars and venues will still celebrate with their own events and programming.
And, obviously, the Gayborhood’s bars will certainly mark the occasion. The Tavern Group (owners of Tavern on Camac and U BAR) have already announced plans for an outdoor celebration.
Their exact plans were not immediately clear, but typically their outdoor events are held on Camac Street between Spruce and Locust. So their should be a bit of an outdoor celebration.
The news that the annual street fair won’t happen in 2022 is disappointing, but there’s a lot of hope that it could return in 2023.
Philadelphia's Annual Pride Parade Changed in 2022
The city’s annual pride parade and celebration, which is held in June, returned earlier this year with a new team of organizers.
Both the June pride programming and the October celebration of OutFest have historically been organized by the same group.
The organization responsible for those events — for 28 years through 2021 — was Philly Pride Presents. That organization essentially imploded in the summer of 2021 when serious allegations of poor management and racism and transphobia came to light.
PHL Pride Collective came together in late 2021. They organized a very popular and seemingly successful Pride celebration this past June for the city.
Locals, including myself, praised the event for being a much better representation of Philadelphia’s beautiful queer community. The event was not only more inclusive, but it also struck the balance of advocacy with fun and community building… a task that is not easy in the Queer community.
In the past, Philadelphia's annual OutFest celebration, which coincides with National Coming Out Day on the second Friday of the month, has been called the largest such celebration in the entire world.
Admittedly, it's always been my favorite "gay holiday" because the weather is cooler and there's more community spirit at a street fair vs a hot parade in June.
But it does sound like officials are hopeful they'll be able to organize in time for 2023.
And if it's anything like Philadelphia's Pride celebration was in 2022, we're in good hands.