Pride Recap: Rain hurts turnout; police make 2 arrests; Melrose may close lawn

Police respond to a disturbance in front of the Warwick Melrose Hotel during Sunday’s 29th annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

The steady rain may not have dampened spirits during Dallas’ gay Pride parade on Sunday — but it did significantly reduce attendance at the event, according to police estimates.

DISD Detective Sgt. Jeremy Liebbe, who served as co-security liaison for the Dallas Pride parade and festival, said an estimated 25,000 people attended the Pride parade, down from an average of 35,000.

Liebbe said paid admission for the ensuing Pride Festival in Lee Park was 5,800 —roughly the same as last year but well below the 8,000 organizers had hoped for in 2012.

Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, which puts on the parade and festival, said despite the rain, he doesn’t believe revelers left disappointed.

“I think the rain was a frustration for people, but everybody seemed to be in a good mood,” he said. “I don’t think it really dampened the spirit of anybody who was there. … All in all, when you allow for the scenario when it’s going to rain, I still consider it a success.”

—  John Wright