Thousands are expected to attend Capital Pride’s annual parade and festival this weekend in the nation’s capital.
Lynda Carter and Brigadier Gen. Tammy S. Smith of the U.S. Army Reserve, who became the first openly gay and lesbian flag officer to serve in the military, will serve as grand marshals of the parade that will start at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at 22nd and P Streets, N.W., in Dupont Circle. It will end on 14th and R Streets, N.W., at Whitman-Walker Health.
The 17th annual Capital Pride Street Festival will take place on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets, N.W., from noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Emeli Sandé, Icona Pop and Cher Lloyd will headline the main stage. Tom Goss and Eric Himan will also perform during the event.
NBC4 forecasts partly cloudy skies with a high temperature of 83 degrees on Saturday and a chance of thunderstorms on Sunday with an afternoon high of 83 degrees.
Pride committee chooses superhero theme
Capital Pride Executive Director Ryan Bos highlighted this year’s theme as he discussed the annual event.
“We wanted to have a little more fun with the theme and identified something that the community could rally around, dress up as a costume and participate,” he told the Washington Blade. “We thought it was really easy for folks to grab a hold of.”
What became known as Capital Pride traces its history to a one-day community block party that then-Lambda Rising bookstore owner Deacon Maccubbin first held on 20th Street, N.W., in Dupont Circle in 1975.
The P Street Festival Committee in 1980 took over what had become known as Gay Pride Day. It relocated the festival to Francis Junior High School, and became known as Gay and Lesbian Pride Day in 1981.
Pride of Washington succeeded the P Street Festival Committee in 1990.
The festival began to suffer from financial difficulties a few years later. One In Ten, the organization that produces the Reel Affirmations film festival, took over the Pride events. The group then moved the street festival to Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Capital Pride culminates month of LGBT gatherings
The parade and festival will cap off a series of events over the last few weeks that celebrated the Pride season.
These include an immigration reform panel and a bilingual Mass that took place during the seventh annual D.C. Latino Pride on May 30 and June 2. Casa Ruby and 10 other Latino LGBT groups organized what they described as an alternative to D.C. Latino Pride with events that will take place from June 4-9.
D.C. Frontrunners will hold its first annual Pride Run 5K in Congressional Cemetery in Southeast D.C. at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Brian Beary, race director for D.C. Frontrunners, said 750 participants have signed up to take part in the race. He said 50 percent of the event’s proceeds will go to Team D.C.’s scholarship fund for gay high school students who hope to attend college.
“This is a way to kick-off your Pride weekend,” Beary said.