Where To Show Your Pride

7 best places to get gay during Austin Pride Week

7 best places to get gay during Austin Pride Week

Austin Pride Rainbow Run
Participants in the Rainbow Run 5K can expect an explosion of colors as they cross the finish line. Photo courtesy of Rainbow Run
Austin Photo Set: News_Mike_Pride photos_September 2011_rainbow wings
A Pride participant. Photo by Michael Graupmann
Austin Photo Set: News_Mike_Pride photos_September 2011_rainbows
Downtown Austin taken over by Austin Pride Week. Photo by Michael Graupmann
Austin Pride Rainbow Run
Austin Photo Set: News_Mike_Pride photos_September 2011_rainbow wings
Austin Photo Set: News_Mike_Pride photos_September 2011_rainbows

The official Austin Pride Week celebration features dozens of extravagant events, big gay boat parties, sing-alongs, contests, fashion shows and, of course, fiestas. The proceeds go to charities such as ALLGO, Care Communities, Project Transitions and Transgender Education Network of Texas.

Because many of the events sell out quickly, you have to do a little footwork beforehand. These are just a few of the highlights for the week.

Saturday, August 31, 10 pm
Sploosh! Splash Days! Pre-party at Cheer Up Charlie’s

This is female-owned Cheer Up Charlie's first year sponsoring Splash! Weekend. Hopefully women and women–identified will have a bigger showing at this year's Pride, which has historically been dominated by men. Cheer Up's will hand out free wristbands to the Splash boat party while supplies last, so go early. Plus, you certainly don't want to miss one big mass of sweating bodies moving to DJs Mouthfeel and Dylan Reece.

Sunday, September 1, all day
Splash Days! at Hippie Hollow

The last big gay boat party of the summer is also the official kickoff to Austin Pride Week. There are a couple ways to go about getting your daily dose of vitamin D while ogling tawny gym babes; sunburned bears; and topless, toned lesbians. The first? Buy tickets in advance to get onboard that neon-clad party barge. You can also get tickets at Package Menswear at 1114 W. 5th St.

But, if you’re opting for a cheaper route, wear good footwear and bring something to float on. You can still enjoy the “scenery” by driving to the park, paying the $12 per car entry fee, making the 15-minute hike down to the end of the path, clamoring down the precarious shoreline, and setting up your umbrella on the rocky shore. If you’re feeling outgoing, swim out to the private boats anchored just off shore and make some new friends.

Monday, September 2, 9:30 pm
Peaches Does Herself premiere at Alamo Ritz

Peaches loves us Texas queers, she does. Last year, on her way to Austin to perform at Austin Pride, Peaches’ baggage got lost in airline limbo, so she played her show in her bra and underwear. End your long weekend right watching Peaches chronicle her journey to stardom at the premiere of the film Peaches Does Herself. Bring some tissues though; it’s billed as a musical tearjerker. You can watch the trailer here.

Thursday, September 5, 9:45 pm
WAY GAY Sing-Along directed by the Action Pack at Alamo Ritz

For $12, you can participate in two hours of the best, gayest and most glittering sing-alongs in cinema. Just don’t go hoarse singing your heart out. You still have a whole other weekend of Pride ahead of you.

Friday, September 6, 8 pm (doors open at 7)
WERK! Fashion Show at AT&T Conference Center

Featuring designers from Project Runway — including Austin’s own Daniel Esquivel, Mychael Knight, Melissa Fleis and season 3 winner Jeffrey Sebelia — the show also features live performances from Los Angeles-based electro-pop group Hi Fashion and San Francisco’s queer electro-pop duo Double Duchess. It's also emceed by Raja, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 3. Cash bar and $30 per person.

Saturday, September 7, 9 am
Official Pride Rainbow Run 5K begins at West 4th Street and Colorado Street

Austin's indubitable Erica Nix and her workout kiddos open up your heart and your body with some cardio and stretching before you run that 5K like Henry Cavill is waiting at the finish line. Just remember to wear clothes you don’t mind getting rainbow-fied as you cross the finish line.

Saturday, September 7, 7:30 pm
Jane Wieldin of the Go-Gos Marries Us All in front of the Paramount Theater

Wieldin is going to symbolically marry and bless all us brides, grooms, brooms and grides. Then we take over downtown Austin on the annual Pride March.

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For the rest of the official Pride Week events, please visit the website.