It's Pride Month in Dallas! Whether you are into watching drag queens on parade floats or dancing the night away at one of Oak Lawn's many gay bars, there is something for everyone at Dallas' Gay Pride weekend.
Here is your list of must-attend events and pro-tips for the ultimate Dallas Gay Pride experience.
The 8th Annual RED Party
Kick pride off with the Dallas Red Foundation's annual gala. This event features top Dallas DJs, drag shows, and live vocal performances.
The headlining performer is J Sutta, one of the former Pussycat Dolls. Live vocalist drag star Gloria Devine will sing as well.
Ticket sales help support Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage, an organization that provides mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and housing services for individuals with HIV and AIDS.
The RED Party starts at 8 pm. on Sept. 16 at the "sixty five hundred" event venue.
Cost: $49 per person. This includes an open bar. Tickets are available online.
Parking: Parking is available at the venue, but take a cab if you are partaking in the open bar.
Pride & Fabulous Gaybingo
Pull out your daubers and throw on a rainbow boa out for the "Pride & Fabulous" edition of Gaybingo!
This monthly bingo event combines drag and comedy to raise money for the Resource Center.
Gaybingo is held every third Saturday of the month at Station 4.
The Pride edition of Gaybingo is Sept. 17. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m.
Costs: Tickets range from $25-$40 and can be purchased online. You will also need to buy a dauber if you do not bring one.
Parking: Free parking spots are available along Cedar Springs Rd. and behind the building.
Pro-Tips: Pay attention to the drag queen host's instructions and avoid texting during performances. Anyone who violates the house-rules gets thrown in a "Gaybingo Jail" which means that your friends have to pay up to $300 to bail you out. Every Gaybingo event also has a dance break for the Village People song "Y.M.C.A."
Hangover Brunch at Cedar Springs Taphouse
Had too much fun at the RED party? It's time to get up and head to Cedar Springs Taphouse for Hangover Brunch. There are drink specials on mimosas and bloody Mary's.
Hangover Brunch is every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Costs: No cover, but it does get crowded.
Parking: There is street parking surrounding the restaurant and limited valet parking in the iLume building. Do not park in front of the Bank of America on Knight Street. The "no parking" signs are hard to find and the city is very aggressive about towing.
Pro-Tip: Taphouse ID's everyone regardless of age. Brunch is 18+ on Saturdays, and 21+ on Sundays.
SHINE: The Dallas Pride Pool Party
Slap on your best speedo and head to SISU Uptown Resort for this year's must-see gay pool party. Ticket sales support local LGBT organizations.
The event starts at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17 and runs through 9 p.m.
Costs: Tickets are $20 online or $40 at the door. You can buy a weekend pass to all Purple Foundation events which is substantially cheaper.
Parking: SISU has a parking lot, but consider cabbing to the event.
The Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade
The 33rd annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade is on Sept. 18th at 2 p.m. This year's theme is "Solidarity Through Pride."
The parade starts at the corner of Cedar Springs Rd. and Wycliff Ave. It will go down Cedar Springs Rd. to Turtle Creek Blvd., where it turns west to Reverchon Park.
Costs: Parade viewing is a free event, although many of the bars and restaurants along the route will charge a cover. There is also a viewing party at the iLume building, which is $20.
Parking: Parade-related road closures always cause significant traffic in the area. Arrive early and consider parking a few blocks from the parade route for a quick exit. The streets along Turtle Creek Blvd. typically have parking restrictions, so look out for signs. Avoid parking business parking lots. You'll get towed.
Although the parade starts at 2 p.m., the festivities often stretch long into the night, so consider how well-lit your parking space will be in the dark.
Pride Parade Pro-Tips
How to avoid the hassle:
- A few of the bars on Cedar Springs Rd. have bans on backpacks and large purses. Call-ahead before bringing your Birkin.
- Make sure that you have your drivers' license. Most bars on Cedar Springs Rd. check everyone's ID regardless of age.
- Leave your heels in the car during the parade/festival and change into them if you are going out afterward.
- If you are wearing heels, consider bringing a pair of flip flops or ballet flats in your purse. Everyone judges that barefoot person on the dance floor.
How to save some money:
- Plan ahead. Tickets to major events are usually much less if you buy online.
- The cheapest bottled water is typically at the Walgreens or Kroger on Cedar Springs Rd.
- The bars will be packed, so consider bringing some cash instead of holding up the line with a credit card.
- Some bars do large pre-authorization holds on credit cards. This could block up to $50 on your card, so check your funds before swiping.
What to do with pets:
- Leave your pets at home if you plan on going out after the parade.
- If you do bring your dog, don't forget the doggy bags and water.
- Sometimes people give out free kittens and puppies at Pride. Do not adopt a pet while drinking. That's a terrible idea and remember that the bar won't let your new puppy onto the dance floor.
How to avoid being "that person" at Pride:
- Fully charge your phone before coming out. A charged phone makes it easier to get an Uber at the end of the night and no one wants to charge your phone behind the bar.
- Every year, at least one person is hospitalized after drinking too much. Don't be that person.
- Some bars will charge cover and then immediately kick out people who appear too intoxicated. Err on the side of going home early.
- Don't accept Jell-O shots from strangers. That's always a poor life choice.
- Pride is a public event. Don't wear or do anything that you'll regret when it is posted online.
- When in doubt, take a cab home.
The Miller Lite Festival in the Park
The Miller Lite Festival features food, vendors, and entertainment. This year's headlining act is Erika Jayne, a singer-songwriter and popular cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Erika Jayne has had nine #1 Billboard dance hits and almost exclusively performs at LGBT events.
The festival will be held on Sunday, Sept. 18th at Reverchon Park, which is at the end of the pride parade route. The festival starts at noon and goes through 7 p.m.
There is also a family-friendly area called "Family Pride Zone" that has food, games, entertainment, vendor booths. No coolers, alcohol, or skimpy attire is allowed in the Family Pride Zone.
Costs: General admission tickets are $10 per person. Children 13 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Group discounts are available online.
Pro-Tips: Bags, including purses, are prohibited. Security will make some exceptions for clear plastic bags that do not exceed 18" x 18" or one-gallon freezer bags.
Spectrum Tea Dance
The perfect way to end pride is with Station 4's afternoon tea dance event. The party starts on the nightclub's massive patio immediately following the pride parade.
The Spectrum Pride Tea Dance goes from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Costs: Tickets are $15 online and $30 at the door. Ticket sales support AIDS Services of Dallas, Resource Center Dallas, and Legacy Counseling Center.
Parking: There is parking available behind S4, but it will be packed. Consider cabbing.