Provincetown was first discovered by the Pilgrims in the 1600s and endured as a whaling town, a welcoming new home for Portuguese sailors, an artists’ colony, and, of course, a queer paradise. Located at the knuckle of the flexing arm of land that is Cape Cod, P-Town and its siren song lures nearly all letters of our community’s acronym. This summer’s offerings are more diverse than ever with happenings for bears, queers, daddies, mommies, and everyone in between.
Mark your calendars with the must-see events of this Massachusetts escape listed below. And learn more by visitingPTown.orgor following the Provincetown Business Guild on social media@visitptown.
MemDay Weekend, May 25-29
Provincetown’s summer season kicks off annually with the arrival of Memorial Day Weekend — better known locally as MemDay — when LesbianNightLife and Provincetown for Women host a tremendous weekend of events, packed with thousands of LGBTQ+ women, nonbinary folks, and their friends.
Provincetown Pride, June 2-4
Provincetown Pride continues to gain footing as one of the most diverse weekends of the year, where the spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community is invited to partake in a three-day celebration. Events include the Pride Follies and the Pride Pool Party at the Crown & Anchor, or the Queer Comedy Showcase at Town Hall. During Pride, LGBTQ+ people comprise most of the town’s population – along with nearly 70 percent of the visitor base. Joining the festivities are the attendees of the longstanding Womxn of Color Weekend who gather in Provincetown during the first weekend of June.
PHOTO BY JAMES KIRKIKIS/SHUTTERSTOCK
Feet Over Front Street 5K, June 4
A new addition to Pride Weekend is the Provincetown Business Guild’s Feet Over Front Street 5K Run/Walk. The event starts at the Harbor Hotel in Provincetown’s east end and runs the full length of Commercial Street to the Provincetown Inn. After the race, participants raise a glass at the Provincetown Brewing Company. More than 400 runners and walkers participated in the first two 5K events in 2022, and these events are growing in 2023. Be sure to register early to save a few bucks.
CabaretFest, June 5-11
Returning for 2023, CabaretFest celebrates the genius of Stephen Sondheim and other great Broadway composers as part of a musical event dubbed Sondheim By the Sea.
Provincetown Film Festival, June 14-18
Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Provincetown Film Festival attracts over 10,000 filmgoers, movie buffs, and arts patrons. This five-day festival showcases over 80 American and international independent narrative, documentary, and animated features and shorts as well as panel discussions and special events.
Frolic Weekend, June 15-19
Frolic Weekend (also known as Men of Color Weekend) comes to Provincetown every June. This year’s theme is Intergalactic, and it’s packed with social mixers, pool parties, club nights, beach takeovers, and other events where men of color mingle.
Portuguese Fest, June 23-25
In addition to being a queer travel destination, Provincetown is a historic Portuguese fishing village that celebrates this rich legacy with live music and dancing, delicious food, presentations by local fishermen, a crafts fair, and other exciting activities.
PHOTO BY JAMES KIRKIKIS/SHUTTERSTOCK
Revolution: Independence Provincetown at the Crown & Anchor, July 1-8
The circuit boys are coming! Seven Days. Fourteen Parties. Provincetown’s Independence Week is back and bigger than ever! Learn more about the full schedule of events and book tickets now at OnlyAtTheCrown.com.
Provincetown Bear Week, July 8-15
One of the largest events of the summer, Bear Week roars back into Provincetown with more than 40 different events and parties. Grab tickets now for the annual Bear Week Cruise, Otter Pop Pool Party at the Crown & Anchor, Eureka O’Hara live at Provincetown Town Hall, Fireman’s Ball, FurBall, Tom Goss at Red Room, the Bear Week Weiner Roast at the Brass Key, and so much more. Visit PTown.org/calendar/bears for more information.
Carnival, August 12-19
August offers the return of Carnival, Provincetown’s original summer celebration. This year’s theme is Land of Toys, and the event runs August 12 to 19, with the annual Carnival Parade happening on Thursday, August 17. Don’t wait to book your tickets for Alyssa Edwards at Provincetown Town Hall on Wednesday, August 16.
Learn more at PTown.org/calendar/Carnival.
Camp Provincetown, All Year
Looking for a new way to experience the beauty and wonder of Provincetown? Whether you are an eco-enthusiast or a casual tree hugger, Camp Provincetown offers experiential programs that allow queer visitors to experience the “wild” side of their favorite vacation destination all throughout the season. Offered throughout the year, activities include dune tours, seal-watching excursions, tidal pool hikes to Boy Beach, bird watching, water sports adventures, and more.