June 10, 2015 at 6:41 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
The big 4-0
Capital Pride, gay news, Washington Blade, 40th annual Capital Pride

Thousands flock to Pennsylvania Avenue each year for Capital Pride. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The 40th annual Capital Pride Parade and Festival this weekend culminate a month of events that included Black Pride, Latino Pride and Trans Pride.

According to Capital Pride organizers, an estimated 250,000 attendees are expected to come to the milestone Capital Pride Parade and Capital Pride Festival making it the largest LGBT-focused event of the year in the District. (Complete coverage of Capital Pride begins on page 40.)

“We’ve tried to make sure that this is as special a Pride celebration as we could possibly make it to acknowledge the fact that we have had 40 years of Pride celebrations in the nation’s capital,” said Bernie Delia, Capital Pride’s board president.

Four decades ago, the event was called Gay Day. It was a one-day event that was part street festival and part block party. Since then, Capital Pride has transformed from a one-day event to a week-plus series of events culminating with this weekend’s two-day affair with the theme of “Flashback.”

On Saturday, the Capital Pride Parade will be held from 4:30-7:30 p.m. The parade begins at 22nd and P streets, N.W. and continues through the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods, ending at the 14th Street corridor at S Street.

For the second year in a row, an Armed Forces Color Guard will march in the parade. Following them will be Scouts for Equality, comprised of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, who will be marching for the first time ever in the Capital Pride Parade.

Actor and LGBT activist Wilson Cruz and Deacon Maccubbin, founder of D.C. Pride, will serve as grand marshals. Actor Daniel Franzese will also be a judge at the parade review stand and Internet star Max Emerson will march in the parade. Capital Pride Heroes and Engendered Spirit awardees will also be present along with various politicians and community leaders.

In addition to the typical parade festivities, this year E! Network’s Ross Matthews will officiate a wedding between George Carrancho and Sean Franklin. Carrancho and Franklin won a contest held by Marriott to have their dream wedding at the Pride parade. The couple, originally from Texas, and their families will travel to D.C. for the nuptials at the parade.

This year’s Capital Pride Festival on Sunday starts at a slightly later time and will be held from noon-7 p.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., between 3rd and 7th streets. There will be 300 exhibitors and vendors that include local businesses, national sponsors and local and community groups. The Washington Blade will be giving away pairs of tickets to see Madonna in concert at its festival booth every 15 minutes from 3-5 p.m. in partnership with 107.3 radio.

A Pride concert will take place on three stages from 1-9 p.m. This year’s performers include Carly Rae Jepsen, En Vogue, Katy Tiz, Wilson Phillips and Amber.

The festival will also have three beverage gardens including Capitol Beverage Garden, Monument Beverage Garden and Dupont Beverage Garden. The gardens will have DJs, entertainment and drinks. There will also be a family and educational activity area and fun zone with a 30-foot inflatable water slide, face painters, food vendors and mist tents.

For more information on Capital Pride weekend, visit capitalpride.org.

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