Culture / Entertainment

The Best Ways to Celebrate Pride in Houston — From the Pride Parade to Drag Queen Shows to Colorful Bar Specials

Partying For Everyone

BY // 06.17.22

Houston is waving the colorful Pride flag loud and proud as restaurants and organizations all over the region celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. What began in 1969 as a series of riots fighting for freedom has now become a monumental party in recognition of the LGBTQ+ community.

During the month of June, people all over the country excitedly spotlight self expression and an appreciation for authenticity. It’s a beautiful tradition to be able to come together to commemorate the effort of many who have fought for happiness and freedom for all. And more important than ever considering the white nationalists who were arrested f0r allegedly planning to riot at a Pride event in Idaho, which is increasing security at Pride events across the nation, including right here in Houston.

The fun needs to go — and it will. Here are the Best Ways to Celebrate Pride Month in Houston:

Get Your Pride Parade On

The biggest event of them all, the 44th annual Houston LGBT+ Pride Celebration, will take place next Saturday, June 25th at Houston City Hall in downtown. People from all over the region travel to Houston to walk, dance, sing and chant their way through downtown with thousands of other prideful partiers.

The festival goes from 1 pm to 6:30 pm, while the parade runs from 7 pm to 9:30 pm.

If you’re unable to walk the whole way or not eager to do it in this summer heat, you can support the parade on the sidelines at one of the many restaurants, bars, or parks nearby and watch the fun go by.

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Drag Queens Share the Joy

Next Friday, June 24th, there will be free concert at Discovery Green, featuring appearances from musicians and other supporters of the gay community. Christina Wells from America’s Got Talent fame, award-winning drag queens, DJ Joe Ross and more will all take the park stage during this outdoor extravaganza.

Speaking of incredible drag queens, Houston has a number of spots where you can watch drag queens perform live all year long. Often while brunching.

Every Sunday, you can sip mimosas and enjoy a cheeseburger in paradise (aka in Houston’s stifling humidity) at Boheme. The bar’s drag queen shows take place year-round, but what better way to spend a Sunday during Pride Month than at this patio bar?

Boheme’s drag show brunches takes place from 10:45 am to 5 pm Sundays with shows at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. The $35 cover charge gives you access to the brunch buffet.

You can even kill two birds with one stone and celebrate Father’s Day amongst these queens. Other Houston spots to see drag queens shows include Pearl Bar, Hamburger Mary’s and Hush Lounge.

Share a huge Deep Eddy’s drink and sing karaoke with a friend at modern gay bar, Buddy’s. (Photo by: Buddy’s)

Montrose’s Bar Scene

The lively bars of Montrose make for a great Pride playground. You’re liable to leave with new friends and great memories after a night at Buddy’s, Crocker, Barnaby’s or Eagle, which has been standing strong since the 1970s.

Latin gay club Papi’s, where dancers and Latin pop music pair swimmingly with numerous cocktails and friendly faces, is good spot for a late night dance party almost any day of the week.

But if you’re looking for the ultimate Montrose bar day, this Saturday, June 18 you can do the Pride Bar Crawl. That means specials on food and cocktails at all of the participating bars and restaurants. The crawl goes from 4 pm all the way to midnight.

Dumpling Dudez
Dumpling Dudez is selling DIY rainbow dumpling kits in celebration of Pride Month. (Photo by: Dumpling Dudez)

Prideful Restaurants

A number of Houston restaurants are getting in on the Pride fun too. With prideful specials adding to the allure.

Get a taste of New York with a massive roast beef sandwich, bowl of matzo ball soup and slice of rainbow cake at Houston favorite Kenny & Ziggy’s, which recently reopened in a new location at 1743 Post Oak Boulevard. Ten percent of the profits from ROYGBIV cake sales will go towards the Covenant House Texas.

Common Bond’s Pride Velvet Cake with cream cheese icing and edible gold flakes is also a sweet treat, but it may be too cute for you to eat. Some of the proceeds from sales of this velvet cake will go to the Montrose Center all June long.

Houston billionaire Tilman Fertita’s five star Post Oak Hotel is even getting in on the fun with a Rainbow Brite cocktail, which will be available poolside next Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26. The Rainbow Brite is a blend of mango popping boba, lemon, Midori, Empress Gin and Blue Curaco, which combines for a beautiful showcase of the lively colors of Pride. A portion of the proceeds from every drink will go to Montrose Center, the local nonprofit which assists the LGBTQ+ community.

The Rainbow Brite Pride cocktail will be available poolside at Houston's five star Post Oak Hotel.
The Rainbow Brite Pride cocktail will be available poolside at Houston’s five star Post Oak Hotel.

If you’re looking to stay in and cook, colorful Pride Beer and a DIY kit of rainbow dumplings from Dumpling Dudez may be just the ticket. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go towards Montrose Center’s LGBTQIA+ Homeless Youth (Hatch Program).

American Eagle
Shop super cute limited-edition Pride Month items at The Galleria include these shorts from American Eagle. (Photo by: American Eagle)

Pride Shopping

When you leave your house this Pride month, you must look fabulous because everyone will be flaunting their best summer looks. Many department stores, local shops and thrift stores are having discounts, selling special colorful Pride garb and giving a portion of the profits to LGBTQ+ supporting organizations.

There is nothing like vintage shopping at Montrose stores like Leopard Lounge, where you’ll find every shade of sunglasses, and Flamingos, where vibrant tie-dye crop tops and hundred of denim styles are plentiful. Find handcrafted goods like earrings, keychains, T-shirts and home goods at Space Montrose.

There are also hundreds of limited-edition Pride Month styles available at the Houston Galleria. A couple of my favorites include American Eagle’s Denim Highest Waist ’90s Shorts and Levi’s Liberation Trucker Jacket. Balenciaga’s Pride Collection skips all the colors and goes for symbolism instead with simple black and white caps and hoodies with minimal imagery.

You can also Rock the Runway during a rooftop fashion show featuring LGBTQIA+ designers, models and DJs from 6 pm to 11 pm next Thursday, June 23rd.

Of course, there’s much more. Houston’s Pride cannot be summed up in one story.

Rise Rooftop is a reliable spot that you can depend on for pre-games, after-parties, or all-night-long romps. Get your girl power on at Rise’s annual girl party (all genders are welcome) dubbed Eden, which takes place next Friday, June 24 from 9 pm to 2 am.

It’s time to get out there and show your Pride. Houston is certainly ready for the party.

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