By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Mar 15, 2022 at 9:29 AM

PrideFest is back – and back in Pride Month, as Milwaukee Pride Inc. announced Tuesday morning that the iconic LGBTQ+ event and unofficial start of summer festival season will return this year, running June 2-4 at Henry Maier Festival Park.

"I couldn’t be happier to make this announcement,” said Wes Shaver, President of Milwaukee Pride, Inc., in a release. "It’s time to push forward and bring back the events and community functions that make Milwaukee so special; celebrating people is something this city does better than anywhere else … and it’s an honor to once again kick off festival season. Let’s get back to strengthening our social fabric and raising a glass together!"

This year's edition marks PrideFest's first major event at the start of summer since 2019. The festival was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then adjusted the following year by hosting a fall version of the event – PridetoberFest – at the Summerfest grounds in lieu of its typical June celebration due to ongoing concerns about the pandemic and logistics for planning an early summer mass gathering. 

But now PrideFest is back – and back in June, where it's called home 24 times before and will ring in 25 this year. 

In addition to its grand return to June, many of PrideFest's familiar's joyous sights and sounds will return for its three-day 2022 edition, including evening programs filled with DJs, drag shows and entertainers as well as a fireworks show.

According to PrideFest, much will be new for its big 2022 return as well. For instance, the festival will feature a new footprint at Henry Maier Festival Park, running north from the midgate and including new stages, new food and vendor buildings, and an expanded health and wellness area. Considering its 25th anniversary as a June festival, this year's PrideFest will also include some retro-themed pricing specials and attractions, such as "Throwback Thursday" acts, a food drive on opening day that offers free admission for four canned non-perishable food items – a tribute to PrideFest's $4 ticket price in 1996 – and daily happy hour from 4-8 p.m. featuring old-school pricing on drinks. 

For more updates from the three-day festival – including headline acts, special programs, ticketing information and more – visit Milwaukee Pride's website or social media pages. And stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more PrideFest, and summer festival season, announcements. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.