A handful of days left, so much reveling to do. Think of this CultureMap top-to-bottom countdown to the Annual Houston LGBT Pride Celebration, put on by Pride Houston, as a cheat sheet for the remainder of this action-packed week of parties, events, celebrations and foam — yes, a foam party.
There's a lot to do. Gay safe.
Thursday: Pride SuperStar 2012 Finale at South Beach
This is not American Idol. This singing competition started with a dozen singers; it is now down to just three. Dominic Di Felice, Jon Sykora and Andy Shaw are on the hot seat this week and must impress judges Joey Guerra, Benjamin Phoenix and Tianna Hall as they vie to be crowned 2012 Pride Superstar king.
To cash in $5,000 in prizes, including a handful of Benjamins and time at Urbana Recording Studio, they each have to intone two songs: A personal selection and something that resonates with "pride." If you miss their performances here, catch them at the Pride Festival on Saturday.
Friday: Wonderland Houston at Bayou Music Center and Rainbow on the Green at Discovery Green
Enter a fantastical world complete with queens and fairies. Some think that this inaugural Wonderland Houston circuit party will be the new Bunnies on the Bayou. We all know what rabbits do in the wild, but the intrigue to partake in the leisure activities of make-belief-themed areas like The Queen's Throne, Madhatter's Tea, Caterpillars' Lair and Cheshire's Retreats and who knows what else will rouse revelers to fill the 130,000-square-foot center, alongside go-go dancers, drag performers, aerial artists and DJ Michael Tank, who naturally looks quite perky shirtless.
If you are looking for something a bit more family friendly, then Rainbow on the Green, presented by Land Rover Houston Central, at Discovery Green with disco doyenne Thelma Houston and a troupe of GLBT talent amassed by Tye Blue is your ticket to a groovy time.
From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. the Festival is a showcase of 200 vendors, groups, performances on multiple stages and dedicated zones to entertain gays, lesbians, transgendered, bisexuals, the confused and straight — everyone is welcome.
About the parade: Forget celebrity million dollar boy grand marshal Madison Hildebrand. Go cheer on those who've made a difference locally to advance issues concerning LGBT life, like female grand marshal transgendered Jenifer R. Poole, male grand marshal Nicolas Brines and politician Ellen Cohen.
Rainbow colors will suffuse Westheimer between Dunlavy and Crocker in a parade with decorated floats, cars, hometown celebs, out-and-proud Rice students, Lesbians Over Age 50, the Houston Pride Band, church groups, a myriad of nonprofits and drag queens on pedestals in this largest nightime parade in Houston.
Do not bring any of these with you: Alcohol, outside food, inline skates, laser pointers, radios, skateboards, fireworks, weapons, professional camera or video equipment (unless you have credentials), pets or animals. Stay hydrated, be Southern and courteous.
The parade pre-show begins at 7:45 p .m. on the corner of Westheimer and Waugh. The parade starts at 8:15 p.m., a bit earlier than previous years.
Saturday: Official After Pride Parade Party at South Beach
Don't be fooled by impostor gatherings, South Beach is where the "official" creme-de-la-creme will collect for a dance orgy until the wee hours of the morning — that's 5 a.m. DJ Riley from Chicago, who we hope will (not) be wearing similar duds to the tune of his poster, will be spinning current pop, Top 40 and dance videos.
Sunday: Gay Pride Weekend Foam Party at South Beach
Breaking news: Apparently conventional foam is out, because only organic suds are tolerable for the quasi au-naturel fizz fest, the happy ending to the week-long celebration. And that's a good thing; we don't want anyone going home with a strange rash from "excessive lathering" with 5,000 cubic feet of froth, from your feet to your shoulders — though we are wondering if that's measured when lying down.
Though it's on a school night, The Gay Pride Weekend Foam Party promises loads of sticky fun. According to promotional material, when the ice jets squirt you'll have 15 seconds of privacy (freedom) to "feel" your way around the party, or maybe an opportunity to play tricks on your neighbor(s).
Attire? Swimwear, of course, couture preferred, just enough to cover your non-manscaped areas (if any).