‘Keep Austin Queer’d:’ Why is Austin Pride celebrated in August? What you need to know

Bianca Moreno-Paz
Special to UUֱ

Traditionally, Pride celebrations take place in June, falling somewhere near the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising – a series of riots against the New York Police Department. The riots were triggered by unprovoked police brutality against the Stonewall Inn, a New York City LGBTQ bar, from June 28 to July 3, 1969, catalyzing changes in LGBTQ rights and visibility. 

The following year, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago became the first American cities to hold a Gay Pride Day on June 28, 1970. Houston established its Pride celebration in 1979, with Dallas following suit in 1983. While Austin’s celebrations of Pride can be traced to April 1970, it was not officially sanctioned with the establishment of the Gay and Lesbian Pride Fiesta. 

From our archives:

Pride celebrations across the United States gained momentum in the 1980s and ‘90s in the face of the HIV/AIDs crisis. Pride events became not only a cause for celebration but also for remembrance.   

In 2002, the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce expanded the festivities by adding a Pride parade along Congress Avenue.

Need a break?

Texas’ unlikely role in LGBTQ rights can be traced to a 1998 Harris County case, , which became the basis for the Supreme Court’s landmark decision overturning sodomy laws in 2003. Despite being recognized as unconstitutional, Texas Penal Codes the 1973 homosexual conduct law. Efforts to remove the law during the most recent legislative session failed. 

Your Austin Pride soundtrack:10 queer artists to celebrate all year long

Why is Austin Pride celebrated in August?

Unlike the larger metropolises Houston and Dallas, whose pride celebrations take place in June, Austin’s Pride parade is held in August or September, when University of Texas at Austin students are back in the city for their Fall semester. Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation moved the event to September in 2011.

Pride organizers have also found they can attain better entertainment options since there is minimal competition in the late summer. 

Austin’s Pride Festival is Central Texas’ single largest HIV testing day of the year. Multiple local HIV-related service organizations will be onsite to conduct testing. 

More:Love is in the air as Austin LGBTQ+ couples tie the knot on Marriage Equality Day

When is the Austin Pride Festival and Parade?

This year, the festival at Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St., from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with organizers expecting over 400,000 people to attend. 

The Pride parade will start at 8 p.m. at the Capitol, marching down Congress Avenue and ending at Cesar Chavez Street. 

More:Here's a list of events to celebrate Austin Pride 2023 in August

How much is the Austin Pride Festival and Parade?

The Pride festival is $20 for adults and $10 for children aged 7-17, while children 6 and under are allowed free admission. Tickets are and at the festival gate. 

The Pride parade is free for all to attend. 

Where can I park? 

While Austin Pride recommends public transportation or carpooling, there is a parking lot on Jesse E. Segovia Street and a parking lot located east of the festival grounds. ADA parking will be available outside the festival’s main gate, on Jesse E. Segovia and Chicon streets.