Not only is Austin the state capital of the Lone Star State, it's also one of the most progressive and gay-friendly cities in the southern United States. So it's only fitting that this fast-growing city's Austin Gay Pride Festival and Parade continues to grow in attendance and popularity. The event is a combination of what used to be two different but concurrent events, the Pride of Texas Festival and the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Pride Parade, which combined forces a few years ago to create one all-inclusive, popular event. The date of Austin Gay Pride is September 7, 2013, a couple of weeks earlier than last year's event, and a week ahead of (Dallas Gay Pride, which takes place September 15, and a week after the popular Labor Day Splash Weekend at Hippie Hollow.
More on Austin Gay Pride 2013 will be posted here as information becomes available. Here's a look at last year's event, in the meantime:
Pride kicks off this year on Saturday, bright and early at 9 am with a 5K Austin Pride Rainbow Run through downtown Austin. This is a noncompetitive, untimed event - you can even walk if you choose. The event starts at Riverside Drive and South 1st Street.
The Austin Gay Pride Festival takes place following the parade at Fiesta Gardens, on Lady Bird Lake just east of downtown (at 2101 Jesse E Segovia St.). Festivities commence at 11 am and last until 6 pm. This is a fundraising festival, with the $15 price of tickets (which you can purchase here) supporting a variety of worthy organizations around the area. At the festival, there will be a vendor expo, plenty of food and drink, a pet parade, volleyball tournament, kids/family diversions, and live entertainment with performances by headlining act Peaches; along with Wigstock legend Lady Bunny; pop stars Stacey Q, Shannon, and La Bouche; and a number of other noted drag stars, DJs, and performers.
At 8 pm on Saturday, the Austin Gay Pride Parade takes place in downtown Austin, although with a new route this year. The parade starts at the Texas State Capitol grounds, moves south down Congress Avenue, and then continues along 4th through the city's festive Warehouse District.
Additionally, numerous gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Check local gay papers and resources, such as Austin Chronicle's Gay Texas Fun Guide, This Week in Texas GLBT paper and the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for details. Also take a look at the excellent travel site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Austin CVB.