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Your cheat sheet to the Houston Pride Parade weekend: The craziest parties, the parking secrets & the foam fun

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Courtesy of Pride Houston

Pride Week is here and in full throttle as Houstonians gather to celebrate the LGBT community. When it comes to this wild weekend, make sure you have your bases covered and you know all the party answers.

What is the Houston Pride Celebration?

The Houston Pride Celebration is a week full of wacky events that are not only the source of a fun time but also power the mission to support diversity and equality for all. With more than 400,000 people participating annually, the Pride Festival and Parade are definitely the headline events.

At the Festival, expect to see more than 200 groups and exhibits along with a number of stages with musical performances. Once you attend the festival between 1 and 7 p.m., grab a bite to eat and head on down to the Parade on Westheimer and Waugh, which should begin promptly at 8:15. Admission is free to both events, but donations to Pride Houston are always encouraged.

Any tips I should know for attending the festival or parade?

  • Most exhibits and food vendors only accept cash, so come prepared or be on the lookout for ATMs.
  • There's a Kid's Zone that will provide fun activities for children of all ages.
  • If you’re willing to shell out some extra dough for the parade, a VIP package including perks like grandstand seating, private restrooms, complimentary food, cocktails and water is available.
  • Know the parade route before you go and do not be fashionably late. Last thing you want is to get stuck behind a giant crowd with a lame view. Arriving EARLY is essential. 
  • Use the bathroom before you go. Trust us. 

How do I beat the heat?

  • Regarding what to wear: Dress for the weather. Comfort will be key in the low 90 degree temps. Also, have fun with the weekend and simply dress to show off your personality. The theme is Carnival Brazil so think outrageous eye-catching outfits. 
  • Pleaseeee not only lather up on sunscreen but don't forget to reapply.
  • Bringing your own canopy for shade is in fact allowed. 
  • A fun idea for the parade: If you have a pickup truck, get there early and park the bed in the direction of the show. To keep cool, consider putting a kiddie pool in the back, fill it with ice and drinks, and maybe take a plunge a few times. 

What's the deal on parking?

Parking will probably be rough at the parade, so consider biking, the Metro or even taking Uber or a taxi to the event. If you do decide to park, consider downloading an app to help you remember where you put that car. Check out iCarPark or for a cheaper option, simply take some photos and drop a pin on your maps. Make sure to also write down the location somewhere not in your phone (last thing you want is a dead phone and a lost car).

Your cheat sheet to the Houston Pride Parade weekend: The craziest parties, the parking secrets & the foam fun 

The following streets will be closed through Sunday at 3 a.m.:

  • Yoakum Boulevard between Westheimer and Hawthorne
  • Lovett Boulevard between Graustark and Montrose
  • Commonwealth Boulevard between Westheimer and Lovett
  • Mt. Vernon Street between Westheimer and Lovett
  • Yoakum between Westheimer and California St 

What's going on before and after the big events?

With a different party every night, the LGBT community is taking the bull by its horns. Check out the calendar of events and seriously consider attending the Pride Superstar Competition Finale. You won't be disappointed.

Although many bars will be swarming with Pride partiers, the official after party will be held at South Beach Night Club. The final bash of the weekend takes place Sunday night (giving festival goers a solid 12 hours to recharge and rally) at South Beach with the perfect ingredient for a good time: Foam. The entire place will be covered in foam and it’s sure to be quite the sight.

Unable to make it to the parade? No worries — Houston Media Source will be live streaming the action here.

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