New this year was the festival in Reverchon Park. Previous festivals have been staged in Lee Park. Although Reverchon remained packed throughout the afternoon, the new location was much larger than Lee Park. At one point, entry to the park was so backed up that the line was more than a block long.
The parade itself was larger than usual as well. Although there were about the same number of entries as always, contingencies participating in the parade were larger than in the past. Organizations and companies that marched with fewer than 25 people behind a banner, amped it up this year and attracted more than 100 people showing their pride. Many more entries featured colorful floats this year than ever before.
The parade route was several blocks longer than in the past. Instead of a left turn on Turtle Creek Boulevard to go one block to Lee Park, the parade turned right and traveled five blocks to Reverchon Park. However, the parade made a dead end at Maple Avenue that was already choked with traffic, causing a bottleneck that ran several blocks at some points.
Watch for this post to be updated with estimated crowd size, and watch for more posts today and in the days to come with photos from the parade and from Reverchon Park.
More parade photos here. Below: photos of Grand Marshals Patti Fink and Evilu Pridgeon and Honorary Grand Marshal Ty Herndon as well as Dallas City Council and former Mayor Laura Miller.