By Karly Mueller
Originally published in the San Antonio Current
When the Pride San Antonio Festival opens its gates on July 2, it will mark the 13th anniversary of the observance, which its organizers have dubbed, “Pride Bigger Than Texas.” Following a theme of “Peace, Love, Pride,” this year’s festival features a group wedding, along with live entertainment, food, drinks and information booths. Beyond the festival and parade, Pride San Antonio and other LGBTQ organizations host events throughout Pride Month and even year-round.
Take Sunday Funday to the next level and get geared up for the week at Pride San Antonio’s Beer Bust. Hosted at Club Essence, the weekly event offers Bud Light drafts for just 50 cents (till the keg floats). Free, 5pm Sundays, Club Essence, 1010 N. Main Ave., (210) 223-5418, pridesanantonio.org.
Fiesta Youth Teen Meeting
Every Tuesday, the nonprofit organization Fiesta Youth invites area LGBT youth and allies (between the ages of 12 and 18) into welcoming atmosphere focused on friendship and support. Meetings for parents and caregivers of LGBT youth are held the second Tuesday of the month (6:30-8:30pm). Free, 6:30-8:30pm Tuesdays, University Presbyterian Church, 300 Bushnell Ave., fiesta-youth.org.
Leading into the week of Pride Bigger Than Texas, Forest Hills Library dedicates a program to exploring the transgender coming out process and various factors that impact the experience. Free, 6:30-7:30pm Wednesday, June 22, Forest Hills Library Meeting Room, 5245 Ingram Road, (210) 207-9230
Following an opening ceremony with a tribute to the Orlando shooting victims, San Antonio’s daylong Pride Festival encompasses multiple events, including a mass wedding officiated by Judge Ron Rangel, a gay newlywed game and live entertainment by dance-pop diva Kristine W. and Pride Championship Wrestling, not to mention food, drinks, information booths and activities. $10 donation, 11am-7pm Saturday, July 2, Crockett Park, 1300 N. Main Ave., pridesanantonio.org.
A family-friendly kick-off to the Pride Parade, the Rainbow Dash is a one-mile fun run/walk that steps off from the corner of Dewey and North Main. Registration fees range from $10 to $25 and can be paid up until 7:45pm on the day of the event (across from the Silver Dollar Saloon). The first 25 participants score T-shirts and the first three to cross the finish line win prizes. Costumes welcome! $10-$25, 8pm Saturday, July 2, Dewey Pl. at N. Main, pridesanantonio.org.
Krystal Kelly Running of the Queens High Heel Race
Have a thing for running in heels? You’ll be perfect for the Krystal Kelly Running of the Queens High Heel Race. Always an amusing spectacle, the race is free to enter and the winner receives a Black Card to use at the Bonham Exchange (membership has its privileges!). Free (waiver required), 8:45pm Saturday, July 2, Dewey Pl. at N. Main, pridesanantonio.org.
While many of us celebrate LGBT Pride all year-round, it’s most visibly represented at San Antonio’s annual Pride Parade. Stepping off from the intersection of Dewey and North Main at 9pm, this year’s event boasts more than 70 entries, including floats, marching units and local dignitaries riding in open convertibles. For details, email [email protected]. Free, 9pm Saturday, July 2, Dewey Pl. at N. Main, pridesanantonio.org.
Pride on the Strip
Following the Pride Parade, the Main Strip keeps the festivities going with an after party featuring music by DJ Blaine. A block party with a purpose, the event brings together volunteers from area charities to man donation stations with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting the Pulse Victims Fund via Equality Florida. Free, 7pm-2am Saturday, July 2, Main Strip, corner of W. Evergreen and N. Main Ave., facebook.com/thestripsa.