A calendar of Pride celebrations in Texas
June is National LGBT Pride Month, and one of Texas’ largest Pride celebrations happens at the end of the month in Houston. Abilene’s P-FLAG chapter will celebrate in June, too. But other cities in the Lone Star State have moved their Pride celebrations til later in the year, in part to give folks the chance to hit all the parties.
Here’s a wrap-up of Pride celebrations around Texas, so you can start planning your calendar.
Houston: June 25
Organizers of Houston Pride were unavailable for comment, but according to their website, PrideHouston.org, the festival there will run from noon-7 p.m. Saturday, June 25, on McKinney and Smith Streets. The parade steps off at 8:30 p.m. and will likely run through 11 p.m. The parade starting point is at Lamar, and it ends at Jefferson Street.
The festival and parade attract more than 700,000 people each year, according to the website.
Abilene: June 25
The P-FLAG Abilene Big Country chapter participates in the second annual National Loving Day Sidewalk March on Saturday, June 25. The march commemorates the anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage in the United States.
The march begins at 9:45 a.m. at the Vera Hall Minter Park in downtown Abilene, and no end time or route has been established. Information for the event can be found at their group page, PFLAG Abilene/Big Country Loving Day March, Facebook.com/Events/1736131756659077/.
Austin: Aug. 20-27
Austin Pride will put up bleachers along the parade route this year because of requests for seating structures, said Paul Huddleston, Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade Foundation president.
The bleachers, he said, will be six or seven feet high and seat 400 people. They will run along 4th Street and Congress Avenue.
For a spot on the bleachers, guests will have to purchase a VIP ticket, available on the Austin Pride website AustinPride.org, until they are sold out.
“We’ll see how it goes” this year, Huddleston said. “And if we need to expand it, we’ll expand it next year.”
Austin Pride, which drew about 225,000 people last year, is set for Aug. 20-27. It kicks off with the fourth annual Werk Fashion Show, featuring
Project Runway designers, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 at the ACL Live (Moody Theater) in the 2nd Street District. The parade steps off at 8 p.m. the following Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Capitol, according to AustinPride.org.
Lubbock: Aug. 26-27
Lubbock Pride will be two days this year, according to Lubbock PRIDE President and Co-founder Kat Cade.
Lubbock begins its Pride season on Friday, Aug. 26, with a first-ever walk for HIV/AIDS awareness. The walk will be held in Maxey Park, the same venue as Pride, and was organized by PFLAG and Emologie Raven, a show director and M.C. at Lubbock’s Club Pink.
The walk will raise money for Project Champs, a Lubbock HIV/AIDS support service, Cade said.
The Pride festival runs from 1-10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 and will include live music and entertainment — but no parade, Cade said.
Lubbock PRIDE has been hosting the festival for five years and has consistently attracted 500 to 600 people. It’s one of the organization’s goals to throw a parade eventually, Cade said.
“Our main focus is on local musicians and local talent,” she added.
The festival will include food trucks, no alcohol, and one new competition: “We’re doing a doggy drag show!” Cade said.
Guests can bring their dogs dressed in their best outfits, and the best-dressed dog wins a prize from a local LGBT-supportive dog kennel, she said.
“We have a lot of people bring their puppies and picnic and grill,” Cade said. “Our main focus is definitely around being family-friendly. It’s really about bringing the community together, because it’s a very conservative city and it’s a very small community there.”
Dallas Pride: Sept. 18
This year’s Heineken Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade will be almost the same as last year’s except for larger festival space and an expanded food menu, according to Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman.
The festival will be held from noon-7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18 at Reverchon Park, and the food options will be expanded to include tacos, burgers, hot dogs, turkey legs, funnel cakes and “varieties of food truck-type and walk-around food,” Doughman said.
“Our food and drink prices across the board are going to be considerably lower than State Fair prices,” he said.
Patrons will pay $10 to get into the festival, which will include a free concert by dance-pop artist and LGBT icon Erika Jayne, a favorite in a survey the Guild administered, especially among young people.
“She has a great show and she’s very popular,” Doughman said.
The parade steps off at 2 p.m. Sep. 18 at Cedar Springs Road and Wycliff Avenue, winding up at Reverchon Park, 3505 Maple Ave.
Tarrant County Pride: Sept. 28-Oct. 2
Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association celebrates the 35th anniversary of Pride in Fort Worth this year, beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 28, with the Pride Kick-Off Party featuring Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
This year’s Pride Parade, once again moving down Main Street, through the heart of downtown Fort Worth, steps off at noon on Saturday, Oct. 1, followed by the Pride Street Festival in the plaza outside the Convention Center until 6 p.m. The parade and festival are sponsored by Ben E. Keith Beverages of Fort Worth. The theme for the 35th annual celebration is “We Are Family: Reunion.”Pride weekend wraps up Sunday, Oct. 2, with the Pride Picnic at Trinity Park Arts Pavillion, off 7th Street, from noon-5 p.m., sponsored by Ben E. Keith Beverages — Bud Light.More details are coming soon, available at the TCGPWA website, TCGPWA.org.
Dallas Southern Pride: Sept. 29-Oct. 3
Dallas Southern Pride, one of the largest Black Pride celebrations in the United States, will be held Sept. 29-Oct. 3, featuring a host of parties and special events. Crowne Plaza Hotel-Dallas Market Center will be the host hotel. For information check the website at DallasSouthernPride.com.
One of the main events of Dallas Southern Pride will be the fifth annual Southern Regional Ball/House and Pageants Communities’ Leadership and Health Disparities Conference, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, hosted by Abounding Prosperity.
Crowne Plaza Hotel-Dallas Market Center is also the host hotel for the conference. For information visit BHAPConference.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 3, 2016.