Chris Bengston, newly-named interim executive director of Dallas Pride

The Dallas Pride Board of Directors announced this morning (Monday, June 5) that long-time Caven Enterprises employee Chris Bengston is stepping in as interim executive director of Dallas Pride, effective immediately.

“With more than 30 years of event management experience, Bengston is well-known and respected by the LGTBQ+ community,” noted a press release announcing her appointment.

Bengston succeeds Jaron Turnbow, who has served as executive director since mid-2018, when the former executive director, Michael Doughman, announced his retirement. Turnbow led Dallas Pride during its move from Cedar Springs in September to Fair Park in June in 2019.

“We appreciate Jaron’s many contributions to Dallas Pride and to the LGBTQ+ community,” said Frank Holland, president of Dallas Pride, “and we wish him all the best in his new endeavors.”

Bengston began working at Caven Enterprises in 1985, and, through her work, has been an integral partner in helping to plan and produce many local events, including those for JR.’s, Station 4, TMC and Sue Ellen’s. A dedicated fan of the art of drag, Bengston has also served as on-site event coordinator for local and national drag pageants, including Miss Gay USofA, Miss Texas Gay Texas America and various independent systems.

Bengston’s work with charitable and social initiatives — including MetroBall, GDMAF, Prism Health, LifeWalk, Bear Dance, Purple Foundation and many others — has earned her the Dru Howlett Award from OLCS, the Open Heart Award from C.U.R.E. and an acknowledgement as a 5 Factor Honoree from Resource Center Dallas.

“Chris’s connections and her ability to build bridges within the community and with outside organizations will help further LGBTQ+ support and propel Dallas Pride along its path toward being a world-class Pride,” said Truett C. Calvert, secretary of the Dallas Pride Board of Directors and director of volunteers. “We are pleased to welcome her to an official role with Dallas Pride.”

Dallas Pride is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and even though the two events long seen as Dallas Pride’s main events — the Music Festival in Fair Park and the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade — both happened this past weekend, Pride festivities continue throughout the month of June.

On Friday, June 23, AT&T and Dallas Pride unite to present Turn Up the Love, a new music event, now in its second year, taking place at the AT&T Discovery District in Dallas. Entertainment will include musical performances by Years & Years, Wrabel, Kalechi and more, and the evening will be hosted by Carmen Carrera. The event supports The Trevor Project and is free to attend. It will also include an outdoor market starting at 5 p.m.

This community initiative further carries out AT&T’s Turn Up the Love Tour mission to amplify LGBTQ+ voices and harness the power of musicians and artists to create awareness of the importance of love and acceptance.

The party continues on Saturday, June 24, with the Dallas Pride Street Party, the newest addition to Pride Month, happening from 5-10 p.m. Sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Miller Lite, this event will take place on Cedar Springs Road in Dallas, in the heart of  the Gayborhood.

The Street Party includes performances from headliner Nashville country artist Brody Ray, headlining DJ DeLuna and performances from other musical artists and entertainers. Individuals, companies and organizations that would like to sponsor the Dallas Pride Street Party on June 24 can find sponsorship information at

Dallas Pride is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening, supporting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community by creating events and initiatives that foster connections between members of the community, its allies and its supporters.

Follow @DallasPride on Facebook, @DallasPrideOfficial on Instagram, @DallasPrideOrg on Twitter, or via the organization’s website,, for all the tea.