Tavern Guild unveiling revamped DallasPride.org website on Saturday


Michael Doughman


Tammye Nash  |  Managing Editor

Dallas Tavern Guild,  the association of LGBT bar owners that puts on Dallas’ annual LGBT Pride celebration — the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and the Festival in the Park — is launching the newly-remodeled DallasPride.org website this weekend, making all the information and application forms necessary to participate available.

“The new website goes live at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 1,” DTG Executive Director Michael Doughman said this week. “All the information about the parade, the festival and the Pride Guide will be online then — all the applications to be in the parade or have a booth at the festival or advertise in the Pride Guide.

“We’re excited about having all that up online and ready to go,” he continued. “We are expecting a lot of people to sign up [to be in the parade and have a festival booth]. But we have limited space and limited parade entries, so we want people to get their applications in early to make sure they have a spot.”

This year makes a few dramatic changes for Dallas Pride: Instead of having the parade on a Sunday, followed by the festival, organizers this year are switching to a two-day format. This year, for the first time, the Festival in the Park will take place on Saturday, while the parade remains on Sunday.

Organizers have also changed the park gathering into a music festival, Doughman noted. “We are currently working on a two-stage set-up,” he said. “One stage will feature all community, local talent. The other will have our headliners and featured entertainers.”

Doughman said David Granger is booking all the talent. Entertainers who want to perform on the community talent stage will be asked to audition, and after auditions, the line-up for that stage will be announced.

As for the main stage, popular cover band Time Machine has been confirmed as the house band, but Doughman said the rest of the line-up is still in the works.

“We’re not ready to announce the other main stage acts yet. But we definitely will have a full slate of acts on both stages all day long,” he said.

Another change, Doughman said, is that this year at the festival, instead of food and beverage booths being scattered around the park, “we will have a food court, with the food booths in a central location and with multiple food choices. We are expanding the menu significantly this year. Instead of just the usual festival-type foods, we will have some healthy choices and some lighter fare, too. And there will be a beverage booth located at each end of the food court.”

He also noted that in addition to the Family Pride Zone, which has been part of the festival for several years, the Teen Pride celebration — which has in the past been held on the same weekend as the Pride parade and the Festival in the Park, but at a separate location — will this year be part of the Festival in the Park.

“Teen Pride will have its own section of the park and will be part of the Festival, just like the Family Pride Zone,” he said.
InterPride, the international LGBT Pride organization, has chosen “Viva la Vida” as the international Pride theme for 2017. But Dallas Pride organizers chose to go a different route.

“Our theme this year is ‘Speak Up, Speak Out,’” Doughman said. “Some years, we have gone along with the international theme. But considering our current political situation in this country, we felt like this year’s theme needed to be a little more urgent and a little more political, especially with the 2018 midterm elections coming up.

“We want our Pride this year to help rally our troops,” Doughman said. “We want to do what we can to encourage people to get involved, to register to vote and then go and vote. If we do that, if we get involved and vote, then we can make some changes at the state level in 2018. And if we make that change at the state level, that will impact the situation on the national level in 2020.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 31, 2017.