Everything seemed bigger and better at Saturday night's Houston Pride Parade. The crowds were much larger than longtime attendees could remember and the enthusiam was at an all-time level, perhaps because of an increasing number of elected officials who have endorsed same sex message.
Houstonians who took part in the parade were unusually inventive — the entry from Jenni's Noodle House that swarmed the streets of Montrose in balloon shaped noodles, along with a male couple atop a three-story wedding cake, was our all-time Pride favorite — and celebrity grand marshal Madison Hildebrand raved about Houston's warm hospitality.
We sent photographer Karen Burd, who had never attended a Pride Parade, to capture the goings-on from a fresh perspective. Here's what she found.
Left, "It's all good in the Noodlehood!" was Jenni's Noodle House motto. Great job on the noodle costumes!
Karen says, "I wasn't completely sure what to expect but enjoyed every minute of it. Although it was a first time experience for me it was great to see a familiar face from one of my favorite shows."
Celebrity Grand Marshal Madison Hildebrand, the star of Million Dollar Listing, represented Bravo while strutting his stuff in his sweet ride. Hildebrand followed in the tradition of Andy Cohen, who was the celebrity grand marshall two years ago. Hey, Bravo, keep sending us your stars!
Revelers lined up hours before the parade started and stayed energetic until it ended around 11 p.m.
Male Grand Marshal Nicolas Brines was the center of attention in a convertible tricked out with neon balloons. Brines, who has seen every parade since the late 1980s and presided over the Pride Committee for several years, noted that crowds were larger than he had ever witnessed.
Female Grand Marshal Jenifer Rene Pool kept it classy in a stunning off-the-shoulder red dress.
Representatives of the Houston AIDS Foundation walked the parade while throwing out beads. The nighttime parade has taken on a Mardi Gras atmosphere as revelers vie for beads.
Proud Moms and Dads walked the parade to show their support for their gay children.
This Bunnies on the Bayou participant was tickled pink.
Mayor Annise Parker and first lady Kathy Hubbard scouted out friends in the crowd.
This woman rocked her way down the parade route while pushing a baby carriage.
Dynamo Dancers pleased the crowd with beads and their great looks.
Rice University students and supporters made their way down the parade route on Segways to celebrate the school's 100th anniversary.
The Houston chapter of Texas Gay Rodeo Association got rowdy while rocking out in their cowboy-themed float.
Bering Omega had a strong presence at the parade once again this year.
The Houston Area Bears float had a feminine touch.
The parade ended with the Pride Houston float. Congratulations to organizers for a job well done. We can't wait until next year.
To purchase a photo shown here from CultureMap SNAP, click onto photographer Karen Burd's name.