The annual pride celebration in Dallas will move from its traditionally scheduled September spot to a few months earlier, in June. Jaron Turnbow, executive director of Dallas Tavern Guild and Dallas Pride, made the announcement via a statement on the Dallas Pride website after speaking with community members in an open forum last month.
“We heard you, we took notes and we are hopeful that our plans for 2019 and 2020 will make you proud,” Turnbow said in the website’s statement.
While the U.S. as a whole celebrates pride month in June, Dallas has opted to host its festivities in September for more than 30 years. The first pride parade in Dallas traces back to 1972, but it was in 1983 that organizers changed it to September and renamed the parade the Texas Freedom Parade, honoring the ruling from Judge Jerry L. Buchmeyer that struck down Texas' anti-sodomy law.
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The September timing of the Dallas Pride celebration also allowed the LGBTQ community to travel from all over the country to visit Dallas, and the Dallas residents to visit the larger festivities in cities such as New York and Los Angeles in June.
The Miller Lite Music Festival preceding the parade is also moving from Reverchon Park on Maple Avenue to Fair Park. It will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 1 in the Esplanade and Centennial buildings at Fair Park. Turnbow is optimistic for the benefits the indoor space will provide considering Texas’ unpredictable conditions.
“The new venue provides more than triple the space to add more activities and include more organizations that serve and support the LGBTQ community,” Turnbow said. “The Centennial Building provides a massive space with air conditioning, restrooms and shelter in case of inclement weather.”
The Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, named after the long-serving executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, will be 2 p.m. June 2 inside Fair Park. The movement of the parade was done in light of construction scheduled to take place between Douglas Street and Oak Lawn Ave. This move does appear to be temporary, with Fair Park not announced as a permanent replacement for the parade site.