Family Pride Zone returns to Dallas Pride’s Festival in the Park this weekend, and organizers are promising the family-centered activities are here to stay.

Family Pride Zone will be a fenced-off area inside the section of Reverchon Park that will be fenced in to hold the Festival in the Park, from noon to 7 p.m. FPZ was a big hit in its first year in 2013, organizers said. But a lack of funding meant it was missing from the festival in 2014.

“But we’re back this year in full force,” said Leo Cusimano, Dallas Voice publisher and co-owner and FPZ director. “We now have financial support from Toyota, which has signed as presenting sponsor with a multi-year agreement. That means that Family Pride Zone is not going away any time soon.”

Cusimano said that bringing FPZ back to the festival was necessary because “it’s important to have a safe place where LGBT parents and their kids can celebrate Pride.”

Cusimano, who has two sons with his husband, Tony Cuevas, said the goal of FPZ is to create a “family-friendly environment for those of us who have younger children, but who don’t want to be left out of the Pride celebrations. Having this space set aside gives us that safe place we need to be able to enjoy the day, and it also leaves plenty of room for those who are looking for more adult-oriented fun, too.”

Cusimano noted he and his family participate in a number of LGBT parenting and family groups. “My goal in those groups is to help build a more cohesive LGBT parenting community in North Texas. Family Pride Zone, I believe, plays an important role in reaching that goal for all of us.”

marcia-stuhler-candid-dallas-pride-2013-58The canopied area set aside for Family Pride Zone will be located near the center of Reverchon Park, where playground equipment is already located. In addition, vendors and sponsors will offer games and entertainment including face painting, bounce houses and balloon artists. There will also be old-fashioned potato sack races and relay races for children and parents to compete in.

Admission to the Festival in the Park is $5 a person, but those under age 13 get in free. There is no additional fee for admission to the FPZ, but organizers ask those going into the area to remember that younger children will be attending and to dress appropriately.
Family Pride Zone sponsors, in addition to Toyota, are Dallas Voice, the Law Office of David C. Cole Inc.,  and Family Equality Council.

— Tammye Nash

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 18, 2015.