Record crowd expected at FW parade

Posted on 01 Oct 2009 at 9:04pm
By David Taffet | Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

Rainbow Lounge raid, fire at Stampede have drawn interest to Cowtown Pride celebrations

FORT WORTH PRIDE | The Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association organizes the Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade in Fort Worth, which steps off Sunday at 2 p.m. on Jennings Street. The Tarrant County Gay Pride Picnic is Saturday, Oct. 10 at Trinity Park.

Organizers are expecting a record turnout this Sunday when the Tarrant County Gay Pride week gets underway on Oct. 4 with the 28th annual Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade. The parade predates the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade in Dallas by two years.

The week concludes with Pride Picnic in Trinity Park the following Saturday, Oct. 10. The picnic has traditionally been a larger event than the parade.

Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association stages both.

Tony Coronado of TCGPWA said he expects record attendance as well as a record number of parade entries. A number of those are expected to come from Dallas this year.

Resource Center Dallas will be represented in the parade. Rafael McDonnell, spokesman for the center, said it was the first time that he remembers the organization participating in Fort Worth.

“We’re marching in support of the LGBT community in Fort Worth. It’s been a challenging year over there and we’re turning out in solidarity for them,” said McDonnell, who lives in Fort Worth.

He mentioned not only the Rainbow Lounge incident but also losing a bar in a fire several weeks ago.

Coronado said, “We know we have new political groups marching,” but he doesn’t think the focus of those groups will be on the Rainbow Lounge raid.

“But we will be stronger because they are coming to support us,” he acknowledged.

According to Coronado, other new groups expected in this week’s parade include American Airlines, Planned Parenthood of North Texas, DFW — What Would Jesus Do, Queer LiberAction, Equality March Texas, DFW BiNet and the Fort Worth Human Relations Commission.

This year’s parade also includes a record number of corporate sponsorships, including Coors Light and Miller Lite along with beer distributor Ben E. Keith. Clothing store Dean Kingston, Innova pet food, Aloha Environmental and Glaceau Smart Water are also primary sponsors.

To help accommodate the extra crowds expected, Coors increased its donation to TCGPWA on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

With a record amount of advertising support, this year’s printed Fort Worth parade guide had 64 pages, eight pages larger than the Dallas parade publication.

Daniel Cates of Equality March Texas said, “We will be marching on foot with members from DFW BiNet, students from the University of North Texas and tons of supporters and allies.

“In the past several months we have seen this otherwise quiet and reserved community stand up for itself and come back to life. As a Fort Worth native, that makes me extremely proud. As an individual, I am marching to show that pride. As an organization we are marching to show our love and support to the folks in Cowtown,” Cates said.

Activist Latisha McDaniel said, “The Rainbow Lounge incident has shined a negative and positive light on the city.”

But, she said, “Fort Worth marches in Dallas Pride. Why not march in theirs?”

Rick Vanderslice from Queer Liberaction said his group expects to field a larger contingent.

“We think the heat and excitement is still there,” he said.

Vanderslice said Queer LiberAction now has a Fort Worth branch and they will march together.

Carol West, pastor of Celebration Community Church, said, “I think our parade is more about unity than anything. It points out that our community is extremely multifaceted and we celebrate all aspects of our community.”

The parade begins at 2 p.m. and follows a short route south on Jennings Street from the starting point at Jennings and Broadway. Following the parade, awards will be given to entries in a number of categories and Gayfest takes place at the Rainbow Lounge patio and parking lot.

One of the judges of the parade will be Sara Straten, the Fort Worth Police Department’s LGBT liaison, who was appointed as a result of the Rainbow Lounge raid.

Council members Joel Burns and Kathleen Hicks are the honorary grand marshals of the parade.

Coronado said, “The organization, at its August membership meeting, elected to vote Ms. Hicks and Mr. Burns honorary grand marshals, in the literal sense. With all that has gone on in our GLBTQ community pertaining to the Rainbow Lounge, TCGPWA wished to honor both Ms. Hicks and Mr. Burns with honorary grand marshal titles.”

He said that TCGPWA did not assume their attendance and noted that this is the first time they had bestowed the title.

Kristi Wiseman, councilmember Burns’ assistant, said that he is in Washington, D.C. in meetings and has had that on his calendar for quite some time.

Council member Kathleen Hicks’ assistant, Will Trevino, said Hicks would be in Austin for the weekend but that she considered the title an honor.

Rainbow Lounge is in Hicks’ district and she, along with Burns, was the first to call for a full investigation of the bar raid.

Hicks is also a board member of the AIDS Outreach Center and helped found the African-Americans Against AIDS Taskforce.

Logo’s Jonny McGovern, “the gay pimp,” will appear at the parade. He will perform at noon at the Rainbow Lounge and again at Gayfest.

Gayfest features Whitney Paige and the Best of Texas performing. The event runs until 9 p.m. at Rainbow Lounge.

Best Friends will host family-friendly activities from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The following week, TCGPWA holds the Pride Picnic, traditionally a larger event in Fort Worth than the parade.

Coronado said the Dallas Bears, who staff the beer garden, have regularly provided the biggest group of picnic volunteers from Dallas.

The picnic takes place at the arts pavilion in Trinity Park from noon to 6 p.m. on Oct. 10.

TARRANT COUNTY GAY PRIDE WEEK EVENTS

Saturday, Oct. 3
Texas Gay Rodeo Association drag show
Changes, 2637 E. Lancaster St., Fort Worth
10 p.m.

All Star Drag Show
1851 Club, 1851 W. Division St., Arlington
10:30 p.m. and midnight

Sunday, Oct. 4

Jonny McGovern, the gay pimp
Rainbow Lounge, 651 S. Jennings St., Fort Worth
Noon

TCGPWA Gay Pride Parade
South Jennings Street
2 p.m.

Parade Awards
30 minutes after the parade
Rainbow Lounge, 651 S. Jennings St., Fort Worth

Gayfest
4 p.m.-9 p.m.
Rainbow Lounge, 651 S. Jennings St., Fort Worth

Family Pride activities
4 p.m.-9 p.m.
Best Friends Club, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave.

Monday, Oct. 5
TCGPWA Games and Casino Night
Best Friends Club, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave.
7 p.m.-11 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 6
Q Cinema Show Tunes
Rainbow Lounge, 651 S. Jennings St., Fort Worth
9 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 7
Rhonda Mae’s Pride Wall of Food Show
9 p.m.

Pride Karaoke
Best Friends Club, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave.
9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 8
Texas Sweetheart Ball
Best Friends Club, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave.
Buffet at 7 p.m.
Show at 8 p.m.

Retro Pride Karaoke
1851 Club, 1851 W. Division St., Arlington
10:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 9
Live DJ and dancing
Best Friends Club, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave.
Until 2 a.m.

Pride strip contest
Rainbow Lounge, 651 S. Jennings St., Fort Worth
11 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 10
Gay Pride Picnic
Trinity Park
Noon-6 p.m.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 2, 2009.

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments