By Matthew Bado, TSB Staff
The first North Texas gay pride party north of 635 was held in McKinney in 2011, then Lewisville and now the largest event in its three-year history comes to historic downtown Plano on June 1.
The area at 14th St and J Ave will be decked out in rainbow regalia as the local gay community unites with businesses and allies to kick-off National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.
Former Plano Mayor Phil Dyer is the event’s honorary chairperson. Newly elected Mayor Harry LaRosiliere will mix and mingle with patrons between 3-4 p.m.
This year’s theme is a celebration of our ‘Modern Community,’ ” said Co-Chair J.J. McCormick. “We are overjoyed with the progress we’ve made in bringing more attention to the LGBT community among our neighbors just in the last two years.”
On June 1, the family-friendly festival and vendor fair kicks off in the yard of the American Legion (1236 J Ave) in Plano from 2-6 p.m. Several dozen businesses and non-profits will be on-hand to unite with the LGBT community including Capitol One, American Airlines, the Human Rights Campaign, Texas Instruments and more. Kids can enjoy activities such as bounce house jumping and face-painting. Food will be available for purchase.
An adult dance party and celebration follows the festival at the Rooftop Event Spot in downtown Plano (1000 14th St.), featuring DJ Fierce, a raffle for an iPad Mini, door prizes and the signature North Texas PRIDE 2013 T-shirt.
“Even though this is only our third year, we have seen a tremendous outpouring of support from citizens, city leaders, nonprofits and the business community, which is enough reason to celebrate,” Co-Chair Morris Garcia said. “We have stepped it up this year in terms of venue, prizes and sponsors.”
The festival is free of charge. Tickets to the evening party will be available at the door for $20. Proceeds benefit C.U.R.E., a local non-profit that brings awareness and education about HIV/AIDS in North Texas.
“When I moved back to McKinney three years ago, I could not have imagined going to a gay pride celebration right in my hometown,” said organizer Matthew Bado. “I’m overcome with delight when I see businesses and fellow neighbors recognize we have the same hopes and dreams they do.”
Everyone loves cupcakes (so do we!) and nobody makes them better or tastier than The Original Cupcakery™! The North Texas Pride committee is pleased to announce that The Cupcakery in Frisco is featuring a specially designed Pride cupcake. This unique and delicious cupcake will be available for purchase throughout May 2013.
North Texas Pride will receive a portion of the sales from this tasty cupcake. So gather up the family, neighbors, pets, friends and treat them to some great cupcakes, and a delicious experience while showing your support of the North Texas Pride 2013 event!
The mission of North Texas Pride is to advocate unity, equality, and community integration for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allies (LGBTA) through forums and events that promote pride and self-acceptance, education and awareness, and social interaction.
Visit www.NorthTexasPride.org for more information.
C.U.R.E. is a nonprofit with three primary goals: first to encourage others to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS, second to focus on HIV/AIDS education and outreach to the youth, women and community members of diverse ethnic backgrounds, and lastly, to present a public means of remembrance and healing. More information is available at www.curentx.org.
Pictured: Former Plano Mayor Phil Dyer with the organizers of the North Texas Pride Festival and Party