PHOTOS: “Drag Race” Star Raven Flies Into Richmond For Virginia Pride

I wasn’t sure what to expect when the train pulled into Richmond for Virgina Pridefest, one of the capstone events in Rainbow Over Richmond, an eclectic and engaging series of concerts, plays, talks and more celebrating the LGBT community.

But our home base, the Hilton Garden Inn in the infamous former Miller and Rhoades department store, was the perfect launchpad for a weekend adventure in Gay Richmond: I was able to hit all of the queer hotspots in town—the Gay Community Center, gay-owned Selba, the lesbian hangout Babes, the wall-to-wall-packed Barcode and the raucous dance club Godfrey’s.

There was even time for the Richmond Triangle Players fabulous production of Regrets Only, and nachos and margaritas at Raul Cantu’s gay-friendly cantina, Nacho Mama’s.

On Saturday, the Pridefest took over Kanawha Plaza in the heart of downtown. After performers Amy Henderson, Billy Winn and Ryan W worked up the crowd, RuPaul’s Drag Race star Raven brought everyone to the stage with her headlining show. (We can’t wait to see her on Drag Race All Stars.) The party continued through the night night across downtown and Carytown.

Virginia Pride is always a great time to explore Richmond, but there’s never a bad time to go. (Running from August to October, Rainbow over Richmond is supported by Visit Richmond, the city’s official tourism office, and is currently running a contest offering a free trip for two.)

For more information, visit the GayCities guide to Richmond.

Photos: Jeffrey James Keyes

Special Thanks to The Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau