Frankie Quijano is president and CEO of Pride Houston. He says it takes a full year of volunteer work to plan and pull off the pride festival and parade.
“We’ve got to deal with the city, the Houston Police Department, the Houston Fire Department, the Office of Special Events — between permits, closing streets, talking with local businesses that we may be interrupting on the day of, or the week leading up to.”
Quijano says over the last seven years, parade attendance has nearly quadrupled.
“So as we grow and grow and grow, our location of where we’re at, right now, continues to be the same. So the challenge is to make the celebration as best as it possibly can be, while maintaining the safety for the citizens, as well as all our exhibitors, entries, and volunteer staff.”
This year brought Houston’s first week-long celebration of pride. It has included fashion shows, a singing comeptition, and dance and pool parties. Quijano says the goal is to turn Houston into an actual pride destination.
“We are the fourth-largest parade in the United States, and we are looking to compete with New York, and San Francisco. So, that’s what’s some of the new things that are going on. Then, of course, our parade, which is one of the largest in the southwestern United States.”
Saturday’s festival runs from 1 to 7 PM along Montrose between Commonwealth and Yoakum. The parade begins Saturday evening at 8:15 sharp. It runs along Westheimer between Dunlavy and Montrose. It will wrap up at 11.
Madison Hildebrand, one of the realtors featured in the Bravo reality series “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles” will be the parade’s grand marshall.