Pride will continue with few changes despite rising costs, organizers say


Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade (Chuck Marcelo)


JAMES RUSSELL  |  Staff Writer

Applications for the annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and Festival go online Friday, April 1. But prospective participants don’t need to worry about any massive changes this year, said Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, the not-for-profit organization that organizes the Alan Ross Freedom Parade and other fundraising activities and events.

“Vendors and [parade] applicants shouldn’t expect anything new. The only change is the registration price, which is increasing from $5 to $10 to cover the increasing costs of holding outdoor events,” Doughman said.

“The new request for proposal details safety features, all based on requirements,” he added. “Otherwise it just contains information and a ‘frequently asked questions’ page.”

Despite the rising cost of holding events, LGBT-related or not, the Tavern Guild wants to keep Pride affordable.

“We’re trying to compensate for the venue price, insurance and security costs. But we want to continue our commitment to bringing entertainment,” Doughman said.

While there is still a lot of work to be done, organizers have already picked a theme: “Solidarity Through Pride.” Choosing the theme was the easy part, thanks to InterPride.

InterPride is the international organization that coordinates Pride events all over the world. It provides infrastructure and support for emerging and established Pride parades, including sharing best practices for fundraising, event planning and sustaining Pride parades.

Besides the Dallas Tavern Guild, other Texas members include Austin Pride, Houston Splash Black Pride and Pride Houston. Another member, Black Pride Austin, holds its celebration April 1-3.

Organizers recently attended another conference to learn about the best strategies for running Pride events. El Paso Sun City Pride hosted the regional Consolidated Association of Pride Inc. conference last month for members of InterPride’s Region 3, which includes Texas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Other attendees included Austin Pride, Las Vegas PRIDE, Pride Fort Lauderdale, San Diego Pride, Santa Fe Pride, and Folsom Street Events.

A calendar of events will go online in June and be constantly updated.

“We’ll start adding more information as it is confirmed. We’ll put up the open events calendar in June. We want to give out of town visitors an opportunity to know what else goes on during Pride weekend,” Doughman said.

But you don’t have to wait until April 1 to get ready for Pride. Organizers have started printing Dallas Pride t-shirts. All funds from the t-shirt sales will help DTG purchase more t-shirts, stickers, and other merchandise for Dallas Pride.

“This year will be a nice upgrade from last year when we moved to Reverchon Park. It was a teaching moment and learning experience. We’re working hard to bring back and improve what was successful and tweak or get rid of what wasn’t,” Doughman said.

For more information visit

To reserve a t-shirt visit

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 25, 2016.