32 years strong
The pick of the Pride: CultureMap's guide to Houston's gay parade
Have you parlayed your plans for this weekend's annual gay parade? Worry not — CultureMap has you covered for the 32nd anniversary of the Pride Houston Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Celebration.
Kick off the weekend right on Friday night at Rock the Runway — a fashion-fueled event that "promises to reinvent Guava Lamp as the place to see and be seen in Houston."
The swank soirée starts at 8 p.m., and the belle of the ball will be Dorothy Bishop (The Diva of the High C's), who's been compared to the likes of Madeline Kahn, Bette Midler, Judy Tenuta and Joanne Wurley. What's more, Dorothy boasts a world-class operatically-trained soprano. Bee-bop to her mix of Puccini and Pop at this inaugural affair.
Sounds will also be provided by 104 KRBE Morning Show host Special K, while multi-award winning host Toddicus will keep the night moving into the early hours. There will be surprises, but you can bet on Jagermeister gift bags and top-notch models in the midst. Oh, and P.S. — admission is free.
Also on the agenda for Friday night: Catch a performance of Auntie Shameka!, a ghetto fab parody of Auntie Mame, presented at Midtown Art Center by Vincent Victoria and Larry Banks Productions. Rainbow Night at the Ensemble Theater presents Five Guys Named Moe, featuring Louis Jordan's greatest hits.
But don't wear yourself out. Saturday is the main event for Pride 2010. From 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Houston LGBT Pride Festival take place, planned around the year's literary theme, "Pride, NOT Prejudice" — a recognition of the community's pride in the election of Mayor Annise Parker.
The festival is nestled in Montrose, south of Westheimer along the streets of Commonwealth and Yoakum. Revel in over 200 contingents and exhibitors and multiple stages and venues surrounded by over 150,000 proud attendees. While wandering the network of streets, enjoy performances by Chris Watson, Cindy Pruitt (Fluff the Kat), and Ariel Aparicio and The Hired Guns, among others. Click here for a festival map.
Once you've capitalized on some culture and taken in some rays, you'll want to snag a spot on the stands for the parade. The pre-parade begins at 8 p.m., with the launch of the first float taking place at 8:45. Bravo's Andy Cohen is serving as Celebrity Grand Marshal, with Mayor Parker taking command as Honorary Community Grand Marshal.
You'll find impromptu after-parties at all of Pacific Street's clubs, but tune in afterward to KPFT 90.1 FM for the dishiest post-Pride Parade chitchat from 1-4 a.m.