Ever the unconventional city, Austin officially celebrates its LGBTQ Pride Week in August, rather than June, like most of the rest of the country. (Not to worry: June is still Pride Month in Austin, and there are plenty of celebratory events during that time, most notably those of Queerbomb, a homegrown, nonprofit group that organizes events and a march funded by donations rather than corporate sponsorships. That means twice the Pride and at least double the fun.)
Parade and Festival: The big events
Austin Pride Parade and Festival 2019 takes place Saturday, August 10. The festival (theme: Boogie Wonderland; cost: $20, kids 7-17 $10, under 6 free) takes place at Fiesta Gardens. It runs 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and features a seriously packed music lineup on two stages as well as festival-y things such as free inflatable games, carnival rides, Drag Queen Story Time, and scads of vendor booths, many with drinks and food.
The parade is free starts at the Capitol building at 8 p.m. It will proceed down Congress Avenue, through the Warehouse District to Republic Square Park—see our Pride parade map and street-closures list for details. The route includes two MC stages (one at Congress Avenue and Fourth Street, and the other on the rooftop of Rain night club).
Celebrating Pride all week long
The joy and fun of celebrating Pride can’t be contained to a weekend (or to any period of time, of course). That’s why there are related events all week long. Here are just a few.
Wednesday, August 7
The Austin Chronicle Summer of Pride party
Blanton Museum of Art, 200 East MLK Jr. Boulevard, 6-9 p.m.
The free (with RSVP, ages 21 and up) party sponsored by the local weekly, along with the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Austin Pride, and the Blanton will have offerings from local food and drink vendors/distillers/brewers, live music by DJ GirlFriend, and an opportunity to view the current Blanton exhibit “Jeffrey Gibson: This Is the Day.”
Community Night Spotlight: LGBTQ Family Pride
Thinkery, 1830 Simonds Avenue, 4-8 p.m.
Celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth, adults and families at one of Austin’s best kid- and family-centric spots at a free event with a mini-Pride parade, Drag Queen Story Time, an Out Youth interactive art display, DIY art projects led by queer artist Ellyn Rivers, and much more.
Rainbow Skate Pride Week Edition
8822 McCann Drive, 7-10 p.m., $9 (includes skates)
Another of our favorite kid-centric places in Austin will host an all-ages Pride Week Edition with DJ Legendary Bigface. Since Playland loves a good disco party, it’s pumped that this year’s Pride theme is “Boogie Wonderland,” and the wearing of your best disco outfit is heartily encouraged.
Barrel O’ Fun, 1911 Aldrich Ste. 120-B, 8 p.m.
The cinematically inclined experts at this month’s installment of the ongoing series will hold forth on and share memories of their favorite movie musicals, including Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and (ooh, mystery) The Queerest Movie Ever Made.
Thursday, August 8
The Official Austin Pride Comedy Showcase
Velveeta Room, 521 East Sixth Street, 10:30 p.m., $5
Pride’s comedy showcase will feature a lineup of LGBTQ comics including Arielle Isaac Norman, Roxy Castillo, Ava Smartt, Ralphie Hardesty, Brandi Davis, Claude Ramey, and host Ky Krebs.
Friday, August 9
Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 320 East Sixth Street, 9:45 p.m., $10.25, ages 18 and up
Downtown’s Alamo theater will celebrate Austin pride with one of its trademark events, this one offering the chance to sing and dance along with videos by George Michael, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, Ru Paul, Cher, and more faves. There will be props, glowsticks, and confetti (of course).
Drip Drop 7: Official Austin Pride LGBTQ Urban Turnup
The Venue ATX, 516 East Sixth Street Suite B, 7 p.m.-2 a.m., $20-$50
This party put on by Austin Black Pride will be hosted by Blame in on Kway with DJ Shante.
Saturday, August 10
Austin Pride Festival and Parade
Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse Segovia Street
A festive week culminates in main event: an all-day Pride party and a two-hour parade. The fun starts at 11 a.m. at Fiesta Gardens, where throughout the day there will be live performances by Pabllo Vittar, the Boulet Brothers, Jody Watley, Biqtch Puddin’, Louisianna Purchase, Kelly Kline, Aja, Joey Arias, and many more, as well as games, activities, and vendors. A parade down Congress Avenue and through the Warehouse District downtown will start at 8 p.m.
Full Spectrum at Native Hostel
Native Hostel, 807 East Fourth Street, 8 p.m. $15-$25, ages 21 and up
The all-night, multisensory party presented by Unbounded Agency and Native Hostel Full Spectrum emphasizes intentionally creating space that prioritizes the queer community and reclaims Pride as a rebellious movement. Local DJs and curated performances will include Yyyn0t, Belladonna, Adiean, WetMale, KD Kinetic, Kid Pharma, queer performance collective Cut Up, and more.
Sunday, August 11
Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River Street, 2 p.m.-8 p.m./march 6 p.m. $15-$25, ages 21 and up
The all-inclusive Dyke March (welcoming “Dykes, Dyke Lovers, Dyke Supporters, and Dyke Allies” to join in, says the event FB page) starts at 6.pm., but the pre-party goes on all day. Hosted by vent Nikki DaVaughn, that part of the event will feature DJs, live bands, and a pre-march speech by Tk Tunchez of Las Ofrendas (maker and event planner).
Did we leave out your fave Pride event? Let us know in the comments section below!