From The Piers To The Rooftops: The Ten Best New York City Pride Parties

No other city in the world does Pride like New York. To make sure you can navigate your way around the Big Apple during the Big Weekend, GayCities has put together a preview of ten can’t-miss parties. Get your day planners out, boys and girls!

Next magazine is kicking off Pride with a three-hour soiree on Friday, June 21, at the Hudson Terrace. Get off work early to make it in time for the one-hour Skyy vodka open bar, which starts at 7pm.

After all the free alcohol has been slurped up, head to the LGBT Center for Pride Fur, bringing together 700 bears, otters and other woodland creatures to mingle with go-gos, get drunk on cheap beer and check out some man-stastic art, all in the Center’s garden.

Queer rockers will feel at home at Blowoff, happening Friday at the Highline Ballroom. Electro DJs Richard Morel and Bob Mould know how to satisfy burly men with good music taste.

Even South Beach’s iconic gay resort Lords can’t miss the heat that is New York during Pride. Lords is taking over Hotel on Rivington for Pride, offering a swanky penthouse party on Friday and brunch on Saturday.

Promoter extraordinaire Josh Wood is keeping revelers occupied on Saturday afternoon with a party at Pier 38. Offering stunning waterfront views and music by Dave Aude, The Day Party is certainly the best Pride bash west of the West Side Highway. (Sorry, Hoboken.)

A couple of blocks north, it’s another Saturday afternoon outdoor extravaganza with top-notch DJ talent. Brian Rafferty and Shawn Paul Mazur’s VIP Rooftop Pride Party brings the gays back to Hudson Terrace for DJ Corey Craig, the Freemasons and Moto Blanco. Need a break? Relax in the outdoor terrace and catch your breath—and the view.

And proving that the circuit-party scene hasn’t died out, Matinee Pride is back (left) in all its muscle-pumping, sweaty-pec glory. This time it’s happening on Saturday on Governor’s Island, where DJ Hector Fonseca headlines.

Meanwhile at the Roseland Ballroom, more muscle-pumping, sweaty-pec glory: The Pride edition of Peter Rauhofer’s Work party, this year titled “Peep Show,” leaves little to the imagination. The Austrian DJ will be spinning until the cows come home.

Back at the Piers, Pier 57 will have two great parties back-to-back: On Saturday, the ladies feel the Rapture on the River, an official women’s event for NYC Pride. DJ Whitney Day will make sure some 3,000 lesbian, bi, trans and queer girlz keep the festivities going post-Dyke March.

On Sunday after the Pride parade and street festival, the boys take over Pier 57 with Dance on the Pier, formerly at Pier 54. The bash celebrates 25 years of LGBT folks dancing out and proud with headliner Cyndi Lauper.

Finally, it wouldn’t be New York Pride without some gaylebrities! Chad Michaels and Latrice Royale (right) of RuPaul’s Drag Race bring their outlandish shows to Escuelita with two performances on Sunday night.

Not enough? GayCities has more New York Pride events to keep the party going! Check out the Pride event calendar and start making your weekend plans. And make sure you bring your camera and snap some photos. You could win a free vacation in the GayCities Pride 2012 Photo challenge, courtesy of JetBlue and Kimpton Hotels.

Photos: kranbree, JJ Keyes, Matinee