LGBT fans of the Washington Nationals were expected to turn out in large numbers Saturday afternoon for the parade and rally to celebrate the Nationals’ World Series victory, according to LGBT sports activists.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced early Wednesday morning just hours after the Nationals beat the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series that the mayor’s office would host a Nationals Championship Parade beginning at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2.
The parade will begin at 15th Street and Constitution Avenue., N.W., and travel east on Constitution Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue at 3rd Street, where a rally will take place.
Brent Minor, executive director of the local LGBT umbrella sports group Team D.C., and Robert York, a member of a Nationals LGBT fans group called G-Net, said most if not more than the large number of LGBT baseball enthusiasts who watched the World Series games at home or at local LGBT gathering places were expected to turn out for the parade and rally.
York said “very many” LGBT people watched the four World Series games played in Houston, which the Nationals won, at Nationals Stadium on the stadium’s large video screen attached to the scoreboard. The Nationals opened the stadium free of charge for the “away games.”
York and Minor said large numbers of LGBT people also watched all seven games at the D.C. gay sports bars Pitchers and Nellies and other popular sports bars, including Walter’s Sports Bar located across the street from Nationals Stadium.
Minor noted the loyal following of the Nationals within the LGBT community was demonstrated in June when over 6,000 people turned out at Nationals Stadium for the annual LGBT Night Out at the Nationals to see their home team beat the Chicago White Sox.
According to Minor and York, members of their groups asked the Nationals officials they work with on the Night Out at the Nationals to see if D.C.’s LGBT marching band called the D.C. Different Drummers and the LGBT cheer leaders group called Cheer D.C. could march in the parade.
Gregory McCarthy, senior vice president for the Washington Nationals, told the Blade at a news conference on Friday where plans for the parade and rally were announced, that the parade contingents had already been selected and finalized before D.C. Different Drummers and Cheer D.C. each requested a place in the parade.
McCarthy said the Nationals welcomes LGBT community support for the Nationals and the Nationals look forward to LGBT events like the Night Out At the Nationals.
“We want to support the Washington Nationals in any way we can,” Minor told the Blade. “We want to support the celebration of the Nationals in any way we can.”