It’s been a few years, but next weekend, Gay Day at Six Flags returns in full force, co-hosted by The Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau and Dallas Voice.
Gay Day at Six Flags takes place Sunday, Sept. 9, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Arlington amusement park, located at 2201 Road to Six Flags Street East.
Tickets — usually priced at $78.99 — are $40.99 plus taxes for Gay Day, and that price includes, in addition to one-day admission, free parking, which usually costs an additional $25.
Tickets are available online at Arlington.org/Gay-Day-2018, and you can print your separate parking voucher when you purchase your tickets.
Kids 2 and under are admitted free.
Dallas Voice first began sponsoring Gay Day at Six Flags in the mid-1990s, working with amusement park officials to offer discounted tickets for the Saturday before the annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, Dallas’ Pride parade, which is held on the third Sunday of each September.
Dallas’ Pride activities evolved through the years, including changing the Festival in the Park — previously held following the parade — to the day before, and a few years ago, the Voice stopped sponsoring Gay Day at Six Flags.
Earlier this year, however, Dallas Voice account representative Nicholas Gonzalez began working with Decima Mullen, senior director of marketing and public relations at the Arlington CVB to bring the event back.
Mullen said the CVB is excited to be able to co-host Gay Day at Six Flags with Dallas Voice.
“This is a really exciting time for Arlington overall, and we are excited to be able partner with Dallas Voice to co-host this event, so that anyone who wants to can come and celebrate,” Mullen said.
“When Nicholas came to me with the idea, I brought it forth to the city and said, ‘I’d like for us to do this,’ and the city was on board,” she continued. “Now, we are really excited to be co-hosting our very first event with Dallas Voice for the LGBT community. We hope it is the first of many to come.”
Mullen noted that Six Flags was the very first park in the Six Flags theme park system. It opened in Arlington in 1961 and has “been giving thrills” to visitors ever since.
“Six Flags is a unique adventure, and it is a huge attraction in our entertainment district,” she said. That entertainment district, she noted, has expanded rapidly in recent years, including the Aug. 9 opening of a new entertainment and dining venue, Texas Live.
Texas Live is located on Randol Mill Road, where a parking lot was once located, across from Glove Life Park, the Texas Rangers’ current home stadium. A new baseball facility — Globe Life Field — is being built for the Major League Baseball team in the same area.
Globe Life Field, Mullen said, will be a multi-event facility, much like the nearby AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. Glove Life Field will be able to host “just about any game or sport besides cricket, I think,” Mullen laughed.
She also said that Rangers fans don’t need to worry about the old stadium: “The city is looking for ways to re-use it. There are absolutely no plans to tear it down at all.”
In past years, anti-LGBT groups have used Gay Day at Six Flags as a prime opportunity to protest against equality, gathering outside the gates of the amusement park waving rude signs and shouting angry chants. But Mullen said those planning to attend Gay Day this year shouldn’t worry.
“We don’t anticipate any problems. I mean, it is 2018, after all,” she said. “But no matter what event we have going on, we are always prepared. We host a lot of large events in Arlington, and we have an outstanding police department that is well-versed in how to handle any problems.”
Get your Pride on
For those folks planning on attending Gay Day at Six Flags or thinking ahead to Dallas Pride events the next weekend, Brian Ivanchan at Pride Basics is cooking up a special batch of Gay Day merchandise to help you show off your pride.
There will be tank tops and T-shirts in sizes from small to 4XL, all available for $22 online at PrideBasics.com and the Pride Basics Facebook page.
Tune in to the Pride Basics Facebook page at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, to see a livestream of the shirts being made, and don’t forget that that is the last day to place your Gay Day order.