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El Paso Gay Pride 2014 - El Paso Sun City Pridefest 2014

Celebrating gay pride in West Texas

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El Paso's GLBT Community Center occupies a historic railway station

photo by Andrew Collins Briar_Patch.JPG

Downtown's Briar Patch, which draws a diverse mixed gay-straight crowd, is particularly popular the week of El Paso Gay Pride

photo by Andrew Collins

El Paso, which is in western Texas on the U.S.-Mexico border with Juarez as well as being very close to the southern border of New Mexico, has a metro population of nearly 830,000 - to the surprise of many, it's among the top 20 cities in the country in population, and the sixth-largest city in Texas. Although it's a somewhat conservative metropolis with a comparatively mild gay scene (at least relative to other cities its size around the country), El Paso does have a growing GLBT presence. The city's gay pride celebration, El Paso Sun City Pridefest, has become better attended in recent years, especially since the very recent change of timing. It used to be held in March but now takes place in June - the dates this year are June 19 through June 22, 2014.

El Paso Gay Pride comprises several days' worth of parties, including El Paso PrideFest, which is held in downtown El Paso on Saturday from noon until midnight at Cleveland Square (510 N. Santa Fe St.), and is preceded by El Paso Gay Pride Parade, at 10 am, starting at Houston Park (900 Montana Avenue) - here's a map of the El Paso Gay Pride parade route. Performing at the festival last year were Cazwell and Amanda LePore, Shangela, Pandora Boxx, Strangelove and several other local performers and DJs. And finally, on Sunday there's a Pride "Out"ing from 10 am until 9 pm at Wet-N-Wild Waterworld Park.

Additionally, numerous bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events throughout Pride Weekend. Check the helpful El Paso GLBT Community Center website as well as the statewide This Week in Texas Magazine. Also take a look at the useful travel site produced by the city's official tourism organization, Visit El Paso.

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