Trade Night Club bartender Dusty Martinez on why everyone loves D.C. Pride

Of course, we should expect nothing short of spectacular when it comes to Capital Pride. Thankfully, Washington, D.C., never disappoints.

This year, festivities take place from May 31-June 9 and include a dizzying array of events from the rally and opening night party all the way through to the parade and festival. So, how to choose what to do?

We’ve enlisted help from the so-delicious-he-makes-us-hangry, Dusty Martinez, from Trade Night Club to provide the in and outs of Capital Pride season. (He also happens to be a great bartender and the club’s general manager.)

What is the best thing about Washington, D.C.?
The best thing, for me, is that it feels like a small town in a big city. I love walking or biking around and running into people I know all over. It’s a great, diverse city full of so many different people.

What do you love most about D.C. Pride?
My favorite part is how busy the city gets and how full of life it gets. So many people travel from all over to come out and show who they are, and are just so happy to have a space to feel safe and be themselves.

Do you, your friends, and family have any annual Pride rituals?
My friends and I tend to get together and have dinner a few days before what is sure to be a busy weekend. We all work in the [hospitality] industry so our Pride weekend is full of work and getting to see all the friendly faces that pop back and forth between our bars.

Where’s the best place to grab Pride brunch? I’m a huge fan of Annie’s Paramount Steak House. Just recently they were awarded a James Beard Award.

Where’s the best place to watch the parade?
If you’re from out of town I’d say check out P Street between 14th and 15th: That’s where the judges’ stage is. You can see all the floats come by and they stop there for a few moments and put on a show.

Pride festival: yay or nay?
Yay! It’s one of my favorite events. It’s a great place for performances, vendors, and tasty food.

Besides the obvious, what bars are best for a post-parade cocktail?
Bias aside I’d say check out Number Nine. If you’re looking for some great music and a nice rooftop, Dirty Goose is a pretty sweet spot.

Any special Pride Week events/parties someone visiting should definitely not miss?
Friday night I’d check out Riot!, the Pride opening party. It’s happening at Echo Stage and is supposed to be a huge event.