Black Trans Advocacy Coalition entry in the 2019 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade

A festival and parade will be held June 4-5 in Fair Park. The Arts District, Plano and Fort Worth are planning June events as well

DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer

After a two-year absence, Dallas Pride returns to its traditional format this year, with the festival on Saturday, June 4 and Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday, June 5, both in Fair Park. Registration for booths for the festival and entries for the parade opens at 8 a.m. on Feb. 15. The final deadline to register is May 16.

Dallas Pride Executive Director Jaron Turnbow says that so many events have returned in full, it’s time for the parade and festival to make their comeback as well. But he understands that his committee needs to have contingency plans in place and acknowledge the possibility that everything will be canceled at the last minute should a new COVID variant pop up between now and then.

“So we’re just chugging forward,” he said. “We’re going to just roll with the punches.”

The parade is outdoors, and even during the worst of the pandemic, outdoor events have been safer.

The festival will be both indoors — in the Centennial Building — and outdoors — along the Esplanade. Because the Centennial Building is cavernous, Turnbow said they’re discussing some options, like spacing booths farther apart and creating wider aisles. And again, there’s always the outdoor option as well.

Parade and festival executive director Jaron Turnbow

The Family Pride Zone is held in the Automotive Building, and to keep kids safer, Turnbow said using more of the building and spacing out attractions is an option.

Turnbow said his biggest challenge is that the cost of everything has gone up. And with only small events the past two years, money’s tight. One solution is to sell more booths for the festival and have more groups register to participate in the parade. But, Turnbow explained, that also adds to costs. The longer the parade, the higher the security and clean-up expenses.

The cost to enter is by category — non-profit or social group, local business or employee resource group and national or franchised business. A 10×10 space in the Centennial Building ranges in price from $225 for a non-profit group to $350 for a local business to $550 for a national business. For a parade entry, the cost begins at $350 for a non-profit, $650 for a local business to $1,250 for a national business. There can be extra costs as well, based on several factors. All the costs are detailed at

Turnbow is excited but also in some ways a little exasperated. Pride moved to Fair Park in 2019, and logistically, the fairgrounds proved a much easier staging ground. Parking was more plentiful than in Oak Lawn, and DART’s Green Line stops right at the park’s gate. The event also attracted more TV coverage than ever, meaning that no matter the actual turnout, than the parade reached more people that it ever had before because of Channel 33’s coverage and social media streaming. And he had planned to expand upon that.

“That was one of the crappy things about the pandemic,” Turnbow said. Now instead of building on, organizers are starting over. Instead of, say, adding a concert or opening part of The Midway, they are instead having to focus on making contingency plans.

“We’re going to plan accordingly and switch gears if we have to,” he said.

Pride weekend will kick off on Friday night with the return of MetroBall at S4 on Cedar Springs Road. Pride Party +, also known as the street party in the Arts District, returns as an in-person event on June 17 from 6 p.m. to midnight along Flora Street and inside many of the venues.

Up in Plano, North Texas Pride Foundation is planning two Pride events this year: a June variety show that will be held at McCall Plaza in downtown Plano, which organizer Morris Garcia said will be a “fun community gathering,” and, on Sept. 17, the North Texas Pride Festival at the Plano Arts Center and Haggard Park in Plano.

Across the Trinity in Fort Worth, Tony Coronado of the Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association said Tarrant County Pride will return in October after a two-year absence. TCGPWA puts on a parade through downtown Fort Worth on Saturday that ends at the Fort Worth Water Gardens, where they hold a festival. On Sunday, the organization stages a picnic in Trinity Park near the Cultural District. This will be the 40th picnic.

Discussions are underway about whether to stage another Pride Month picnic again in June this year, after the first such event proved very popular, organizers of that event said.