The annual Austin Pride Parade wound through downtown on Saturday evening. Parade-goers had plenty to celebrate, with this summer’s Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage as well as Austin Pride’s 25th anniversary. The theme was appropriately titled Austin Pride 25: Celebrating 25 Years Of PRIDE In Austin.
Bill and I positioned ourselves at the start of the parade route up near the Texas State Capitol. It’s always been less crowded there and therefore easier to take photographs. The parade began shortly after 8 PM as a gang of bikers came roaring down Congress Avenue.
Next were the parade’s grand marshals and honored guests, followed by local politicians, including Mayor Steve Adler, Texas State Senator Kirk Watson, and most—but not all—members of the Austin City Council. Local police, firefighters, and emergency personnel (and their vehicles) made a strong showing.
Many companies with an Austin presence participated in the parade, including Dell, Facebook, Google, and Dropbox. But their numbers were tiny in comparison to the contingent from Apple. Again this year, several thousand enthusiastic Apple employees, families, and friends marched down Congress Avenue.
Austin’s Methodists traditionally have had a large show of support in the Pride Parade, and this year was no exception. The pastors of First UMC even carried the banner for their downtown congregation.
This banner from Hope UMC was especially clever: Yes, There is Hope (United) for Georgetown. [For non-locals, Georgetown is located about 30 minutes north of Austin and has a reputation of being much more conservative.]
Apparently next year’s North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance Softball World Series will be held in Austin.
As is tradition, a Cap Metro bus also participated in the parade. Spectators completely ignored the city-erected barriers along the parade route, so this bus could barely fit on Congress Avenue. The horn-honking vehicle crawled along anyhow, carefully guided by a dancing-in-her-seat bus driver.
The lawyers on this float were probably not thinking about state business on Saturday evening.
My favorite float in this year’s parade featured high-energy spin riders matched with high-energy music.
Unlike previous years, this parade was relatively short. The last group was headed down Congress Avenue around 10 PM, but I suspect the dancing in the streets lasted long afterwards.
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