Grace Bonney named PrideFest 2017 Grand Marshal

NORFOLKGrace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge, has been named Grand Marshal of PrideFest 2017 by the Hampton Roads Pride Board of Directors.  PrideFest 2017 is presented by The City of Norfolk, Decorum Furniture, Newport News Shipbuilding, and WHRO.

Design*Sponge, founded in 2004 and updated 3 to 4 times per day, is a daily website dedicated to the creative community.  Design*Sponge was declared a “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials” by the New York Times and the “Top Home Influencer of 2017” by Forbes Magazine.  Design*Sponge attracts a diverse group of devoted readers across the globe and currently reaches over 2 million readers per day.

Grace has been a featured guest on Good Morning America, The Nate Berkus Show, The Martha Stewart Show, NBC’s The Chew, Martha Stewart Radio Show, and American Public Radio and has been a keynote speaker with a wide variety of organizations ranging from design schools and trade organizations to design guilds and national corporations, like Target, Ann Taylor, BlogHer, Blogtacular, IDS, IDSA and Weapons of Mass Creation.

Grace has published two best-selling books. Design*Sponge at Home was published in 2009 and has over 120,000 copies in print.  In the Company of Women, published in 2016, is now a New York Times Best Seller and has over 100k copies in print.

Grace Bonney was raised in Virginia Beach and graduated from First Colonial High School and The College of William and Mary.  After 12 years in Brooklyn, Grace now lives in the Hudson Valley with her wife, Julia, and their three pets.

As PrideFest 2017 Grand Marshal, Grace will lead a dialogue, panel conversation, and book signing at the Chrysler Museum of Art on Thursday, June 15 focused on women, entrepreneurship, and design.   She will lead Hampton Roads Pride’s annual Pride Boat Parade with an escort from the United States Coast Guard and introduce PrideFest headliners Village People at PrideFest on June 17 at Town Point Park.

Grace Bonney: “I’m so proud to return to my hometown of Virginia Beach to celebrate the wonderfully diverse, creative and talented members of the LGBTQ community and all they’ve contributed- and continue to contribute- to our area. The LGBTQ community is a vibrant and growing part of our larger Hampton Roads community and I’m so honored to be a member and to be leading this year’s festival.”

Michael Berlucchi, president, Hampton Roads Pride: “We’re excited to welcome Grace Bonney back to Hampton Roads as our PrideFest 2017 Grand Marshal.  Grace’s life and career are an inspiration to many – she is a successful businessperson who relentlessly pursues her passion for creativity and design.  Grace uses her considerable voice and platform to inspire and empower a global audience that includes men and women of all cultures and members of the LGBT community.  We are proud of Grace’s many accomplishments and look forward to seeing her and her wife Julia during Pride Week.”


Third Thursday: Chrysler Pride

Thursday, June 15
Chrysler Museum of Art
1 Memorial Place
Norfolk, VA 23510

 Kick off a weekend of PrideFest activities starting with the Chrysler Museum.  Dance the night away surrounded by your favorite works of art. Start the night at 6:30 p.m. with a panel talk by Grace Bonney, author of Design*Sponge at Home and In the Company of Women. Book signing will immediately follow the talk.

Enjoy pumping music, live dancers, and tours of the galleries. Get hands-on with our Make & Take area or stop by the cash bar for a special LGBTini. A night you won’t forget!

Free for members of The Chrysler Museum of Art and Hampton Roads Pride.

6th Annual Pride Block Party

“Under The Big Top”
Friday, June 16
Norfolk Scope Arena

 A unique celebration of Pride featuring a night of celebrating, dancing, performers, games, and circus fun.  Join us!

$10 admission at the door

PrideFest 2017

Saturday, June 17
Town Point Park
Norfolk, VA 23510

City of Norfolk Government, Decorum Furniture, Newport News Shipbuilding, & WHRO Present: PrideFest 2017


 Featuring Headliners:



 The nation’s only Pride Boat Parade

 The Pride Silent Disco

Hampton Roads Pride Mass Choir

Local LGBT History and Walking Tour

Expanded Family Fun & Games

NAMES Project Foundation AIDS Memorial Quilt

Chrysler Museum of Art Mobile Glass Studio

Virginia Aquarium Touch Tank

Pride Caricatures

All-New ClubPridefest!

And much more!


PrideFest is the largest annual LGBT festival in Virginia.

PrideFest combines entertainment, vendors, and fun activities for all ages. PrideFest attracts thousands of visitors and brings together local residents, families, community leaders, civic organizations, and businesses to unite the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) and allied communities in support of inclusion, dignity and equality of all people.