DC at Night

DC at Night

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Parade Your Pride

With dozen-deep crowds enthusiastically cheering and shouting so loudly they could be heard blocks away, thousands of DC area residents demonstrated their Capital (Gay) Pride in the streets around Dupont Circle today. The event was part parade, part Mardi Gras, part message maker, and part political pandering.

The participants included gays and straights, young and old, men and women, women who dressed like men, and men who dressed like women. There were gay policemen, gay bikers, gay bands, and gay DJ's and divas on trucks. Same sex families pushed their strollers, while Mayor Vincent Gray and 2 City Council members who want his job strolled by the crowds, handing out goodies.

Many of the parade participants carried colorful Mardi Gras beads which they hurled into the outstretched hands of the waving, squealing watchers. Candy and stickers were popular with young parade observers. Those youngsters also appeared to enjoy the superhero costumes that many of the marchers wore. The theme of this years event was Unleash the Superhero in You. That made it appropriate for actress Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman on TV, to be the parade's Grand Marshall.

Despite the fun theme,- "Happy Pride Day" was the shouted street slogan of the day - there were moments of seriousness. Some marchers carried signs portraying activist messages. Some participants representing city health agencies handed out condoms.

One of the most appreciated groups of the day was the DC Water Department, whose marchers squirted the crowd with cooling streams of water from super soakers.

Parade organizers said 170 groups and organizations entered the 38th annual edition of the parade. The 1.5-mile event kicked off with the the roar of the Washington, DC chapter of Dykes on Bikes, followed by Homoto,  a gay male biker organization.  You can see a full list of participants by clicking here.

Here are a sample of photos to help you capture (or, for some, recapture) the spirit of the day.

Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
The Capital Pride Parade is one of the 2 biggest such events held in the DuPont Circle neighborhood annually. The other is the October Drag Race. To view a The Prices Do DC post about that festive pre-Halloween event, just click here.

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