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A Discovery Green picnic start

Power through Pride: Your cheat sheet to Houston's gayest weekend, the parade & more

News_Pride Parade_band
Live music is part of the daytime celebration at the Pride Festival. Courtesy of Pride Houston
Anthony Rapp
News_Jonathan Lovitz_celebrity grand marshal_Pride Parade 2011
News_Pride Parade_band

Gaggles of gays (and their friends) are gearing up for this weekend's Pride Houston festivities. Here's your guide to the homo hullabaloo:

1. Bring your picnic blanket to Discovery Green on Friday at 8 p.m. for Rainbow on the Green, presented by Land Rover Houston Central. The star of the show is Anthony Rapp, also known as Mark from the original cast of RENT. Also performing on the Anheuser-Busch Stage will be Pride Idol 2010 champion Brittni Jackson.

Look for other cameos by Miss Money, Sara Jackson, Tye Blue and the F Bar Dreamgirls: Kara Dion, Tara Dion and Christina Ross. The event is free, and beer and wine will be available for purchase.

2. The official Pride Rock the Runway event opens at 8 p.m. on Friday as well, but the runway doesn't actually get rocking until 9. Presented by Ciroc Vodka at South Beach Night Club, the event allows some fine local models to flaunt their assets in tight ensembles from Male U Wear, Bayou Beau, Unico and other labels. American Idol's Kimberly Locke will debut her new, secretly-titled single following the catwalk show.

 By this point, you should have flirted your way into an invitation to an after-party. 

3. Daytime divas come out to play at the Houston Pride Festival, located in the Montrose neighborhood south of Westheimer Road along the streets of Commonwealth and Yoakum. Expect a diverse mix of exhibitors, artists, music and garden variety performers.

Seek out special art exhibits from such institutions as the Charles Botts Memorial Archives and Library and Gulf Coast Archive & Museum of GLBT History. Admission is free, and exhibitors are cash-only. Hours are 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

4. This is what you've all been waiting for — the parade. This year's procession begins at the intersection of Westheimer and Dunlavy at 8:15 p.m. Saturday following a 7:45 p.m. pre-parade show. VIP bleachers, with complimentary water and cocktails, are located along the south side of Westheimer between Mt. Vernon and Waugh.

Early arrival is advised for the general admission bleachers along the south side of Westheimer between Waugh and Montrose. Tips: The on-site ATMs close at 7 p.m., and avoid parking in the El Real and Radio Shack parking lots.

Serving as celebrity grand marshal is Jonathan D. Lovitz of LOGO TV's Setup Squad.

5. By this point, you should have flirted your way into an invitation to an after-party. Play safe, boys and girls.

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