Tavern Guild director says staging event to take the place of Razzle Dazzle Dallas would be too costly for now
It’s been two years since the last big GLBT celebration was held in Dallas during gay Pride month, and it’s going to be at least another year before the city sees the next one.
Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, said the gay bar association’s members wanted to sponsor an event this year during June, but they were unable to put a viable project together.
“We put all the numbers together and crunched the numbers and didn’t project nearly enough profit margin to make it a worthwhile event,” Doughman said. “We have opted to back off of it for this year.”
Doughman said it would cost about $30,000 to stage a street celebration similar to the one Razzle Dazzle Dallas formerly held every year in the Cedar Springs Road entertainment district before abandoning the event in 2004.
The last event sponsored by Razzle Dazzle Dallas in 2003 failed to return any money for its beneficiaries, including local AIDS services groups.
“We didn’t see anyway we were going to get anywhere near that in return,” Doughman said.
“We were also a little short on time.”
Doughman said the gay bar association, which stages the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade in September, is committed to taking over the planning of a large celebration every June,
but it needs to provide a profit for the sponsors and beneficiary groups.
“We certainly do not intend to let the concept die because we really feel that with June being national Pride month we want to make some sort of effort to participate in that,” Doughman said.
Erin Moore, president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, said she believes Dallas GLBT residents should have an opportunity to celebrate gay Pride in June.
“There needs to be some recognition,” Moore said. “I think it is important that we celebrate it in some way.”
The gay Pride parade is held in Dallas during September to mark the anniversary of a federal judge’s ruling on Aug. 17, 1982, that struck down the state’s sodomy law. Judge Jerry Buchmeyer’s ruling was later overturned on appeal.
Coordinators of the parade have considered moving the event to June in the past but rejected the idea because of tradition and of the heat.
Doughman said the gay bar association’s members are considering staging an indoor event, such as a dance party, to replace the annual street celebration Razzle Dazzle Dallas provided in recent years. During Razzle Dazzle Dallas’ 26-year history it staged big indoor parties until it adopted the street celebrations in later years.
“I’m not completely convinced at this point that we may not have to go to some sort of enclosed venue simply to sustain a time line long enough where we can make it a profitable event,” Doughman said.
Doughman said it would be difficult to stage an outside dance party in the Cedar Springs Road entertainment district because of the legal and security ramifications. The party would have to end at midnight because of noise regulations, he said.
“Some of the legal restrictions surrounding having an event like that make it really difficult,” Doughman said.
Moore said she would be supportive of staging an indoor event. “As far as a street party or a festival, I don’t know if that is necessarily the only way we can celebrate it,” Moore said. “I also thing being what it is here it’s hot, and we’re practical people.”
Doughman said some members of the gay bar association, particularly those with businesses located in the Cedar Springs Road entertainment district, still favor staging a street celebration.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 16, 2006.