BIG - Houston hosts the largest Pride Celebration in the South, even National Geographic agrees. With an estimated 500,000 visitors to the myriad celebrations every year, Houston has proven to be an LGBTQ celebration destination. The Pride theme this year is “Summer of ‘69”. It pays homage to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots which started the modern day LGBTQ rights movement. Since 2015 the evening parade has taken place in the biggest part of the city, Downtown after growing too large for the “gayborhood” of Montrose. Pride-goers will be in the area all day though, enjoying the sun, music and fun.
HOT - The Gulf Coast is not known for its cooler climate, especially in the summer months. If you are traveling from a temperate, perhaps more northern climate, pack light. Also, pack sunscreen. The main event is downtown around City Hall. In past years the reflecting pool in Hermann Square doubled as a swimming pool. There are alternatives to beating the heat. You can enjoy a pint of Eureka Heights Lavender Bunny at any of these drinkeries in and near downtown. Each pint raises one dollar for Pride Houston, Inc. Alternatively you can explore a real pool while you wait for the sun to set and the parade to begin.
BRIGHT - Did we mention that the parade happens after dark? True, the festival starts at noon but the parade itself takes place at 8pm, after sunset. This is for two reasons: The heat (see above) and also because the parade floats are illuminated with lights. That’s right, y’all, this is a parade of rainbow lights! There’s nothing else like it. Come early and grab a bite at Market Square Park or one of the many food halls in between the festival and the parade.
HISTORIC - This year the Pride celebration in Houston will be one to remember. Not only does it commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, it also features the first non-binary Grand Marshall in the country with Mike Webb. And for the first time in Pride history, all of the community grand marshalls are LGBTQ and African-American. Harrison Guy, co-chair of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Council, is the first African-American, male-identifying grand marshall ever. The honorable Judge Shannon Baldwin of Harris County Criminal Court Number 4 is the female-identifying grand marshall and the first openly LGBTQ, African-American judge in Harris County; and only second in the state. Read all about their historic representation here.
Every Pride Celebration is special, but 2019 is particularly important. Come celebrate in Houston and make history with our diverse community!