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LGBTQ celebration is this weekend at Waterfront Park; the Portland Pride Parade is 11 a.m. Sunday starting at Northwest Park Avenue and Burnside

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Fans flock to the Portland streets for the Pride Parade.Get your rainbow flags, pins, stickers, noisemakers and glitter ready — Pride Northwest's Portland Pride Festival is back.

Pride Northwest hosts an annual series of events that celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community of the Pacific Northwest since 1994.

The real culmination of events takes place this weekend, June 17-18, at the annual festival at Waterfront Park.

The event is free, with a $7 suggested donation, and it takes place noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

On Saturday, start the day with a performance by Falon Sierra at 12:30, or catch the Trans Pride March starting at 2 p.m. at the North Park Blocks, and the Portland Dyke March at 6 p.m. at Waterfront Park.

Entertainment headliners this year include Skye Strickler, Our Lady J, Calpernia Addams, Tatianna, Deven Green and Thea Austin of Snap!

The Portland Gay Men's Chorus has partnered with Pride Northwest for the first time this year, featured at the Saturday night concert, starting at 7 p.m. at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. A portion of concert proceeds will benefit Pride Northwest, which is touted as the area's largest LGBTQ nonprofit organization.

Called "The Divos," the event boasts "hits of opera's greatest baritones, America's preeminent boy bands, and everything in between."

"We're proud of the partnership with them," says chorus executive director Richard Jung. He adds that they participate in the festival every year but this year was the first partnership.

Matt Alber, a Portland-based singer-songwriter, will join the group as a special guest. They'll sing hits by male artists, including Simon and Garfunkel, Michael Jackson, Nat King Cole, Elton John and Bruno Mars.

On Sunday, the chorus will march in the annual Portland Pride Parade, which starts at 11 a.m. at Northwest Park Avenue and Burnside Street, and will perform again on the main stage at 2:05 p.m., followed by a performance by the Portland Lesbian Choir.

This year's parade includes 164 guests and its entertain-ment lineup features acts nearly twice per hour each day.

Can't make it out this weekend? On Thursday, June 15, although not officially part of the Pride Northwest festival, is the seventh annual Portland Pride Show at the Funhouse Lounge, 2432 S.E. 11th Ave., from 7:30-9:30 p.m. It features Vickie Shaw as its headliner, known for comedy specials on the LOGO channel, a part in a documentary called "Laughing Matters More," and appearances on Comedy Central. Get tickets at: tinyurl.com/yajfnup5

The Pride Northwest festival events end with a "Gaylabration" starting at 9 p.m. Sunday at the Tao Event Center, 631 N.E. Grand Ave.

Find out more about all events happening this weekend at www.pridenw.org.

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