You can almost see the glitter in the air already. That’s because the 38th annual Houston LGBT Pride Celebration® is almost upon us. June 25th is the big day and downtown is where all of the action is. In 1977, it was downtown’s City Hall where Houston's own "Stonewall" took place with a protest against Anita Bryant that brought out people by the thousands. That makes having Pride in downtown Houston all the more special.
If you’ve been to Pride before, you likely know what to expect. But don’t think that means you aren’t in for a few surprised this year. And if this is your first rodeo, you are in for one heck of a ride. Even before the big day comes, there are a number of events planned in connection with Pride that definitely have the gay girl set in mind.
One of the hottest events is Rock the Runway on June 23 from 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM at Audi Central Houston located at 2120 Southwest Freeway. The event is free but proof of RSVP is required. The hottest styles on even hotter models will be featured on the runway with drinks and eats available as well. Over 18 welcome but must be 21+ (with valid ID) to drink. More info.
The true not to miss event for any girl who loves girls though is Eden on June 24 from 9:00pm to 12:00am at Pearl Bar located at 4216 Washington Avenue. This is the girl party to beat all girl parties. But anyone and everyone is welcome to attend. A $5.00 donation will be collected at the door with all proceeds going towards keeping the Houston Pride Festival free for everyone who wants to come share the love. More info.
Then it’s time for the main event. Start Pride day off with a bang by heading to the festivities early and grab a bite at Bombay pizza or have a drink or two at El Big Bad. Then hit the Festival before the big parade. After the official fun, Pearl Bar, Neon Bar, or Avant Garden is where the girls are for sure.
In terms of viewing spots for the parade itself, that can be tricky business as everywhere you look will be people celebrating all things LGBTQ. A hotel along the route can provide an excellent vantage point, as can some of the parking garages along the route. There are no specific spots where the girls hang. But Pride is known for being ultra-friendly. So don’t be afraid to say hello and create a girl-centric space all your own if that’s your groove.
Whether this is your first Pride or your zillionth. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Texas heat is no joke. One full glass of water to every one alcoholic beverage is a great general rule. Pride is a great time to double up on the water side.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Sunblock is your friend. The Texas sun is not. So, stay safe from the rays.
- Wear clothes that breathe and that will otherwise keep you cool when attending Pride. And be sure to wear your Pride. Rainbows and clever tees are sure to be de rigueur.
- Don’t be shy. Queer girls have a bad rap for not going out enough. We can be nesters. So take this opportunity to smack that stereotype clean in the face and make some new friends and get your party on, as it were. And for you single girls, Pride can be the perfect place to meet your new love.
- Get into the spirit. Pride is the time to be yourself. Dance to the music. Shout out your pride. Be kind to downtown. This is our day to shine.
See you out there!
Pride is free and open to the public. The only tickets required are those that offer attendees the VIP experience. VIP ticket sales support keeping the event free and open to everyone.
General Parade VIP admission includes an invitation to the Pre-Parade Reception; VIP Parade Grandstand Bleacher seating; Open Bar with Top Shelf Liquor; Private Air Conditioned Bathrooms; and Swag bags with special goodies. (Does not include Festival VIP.)
Parade Rainbow VIP admission includes all of the General Parade VIP benefits; Reserved seating; Pride T-Shirt; and Commemorative Digital Picture. (Does not include Festival VIP.)
All guests must be ready to provide valid government issued identification to verify age. Guests must be 21+ to drink.
The Houston LGBT Pride Festival
Starts at 12:00 PM CST and ends at 7:00 PM CST
Cross Streets: McKinney St and Smith St
This Houston LGBT Pride Parade
Starts at 8:30 PM CST and ends at 11:00 PM CST
Begins at Milam St and Walker, Continues down Walker St until Smith St where it will make a Left turn, Continues down Smith St until Jefferson St
For more information, go to www.pridehouston.org.