HOUSTON — After two years on pause because of the pandemic, the Pride Houston 365 festival and parade are back this weekend. This year's theme is "The Beat Goes On."
The Pride LGBT+ Celebration kicks off Saturday with the festival outside Houston City Hall at 901 Bagby from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Gates open at 11) It's followed by the parade at 7 p.m.
Hundreds of thousands of loud and proud Houstonians are expected to head downtown for the 44th annual event.
We've put together a guide with everything you need to know.
Pride parade forecast
The first thing you should know is: It's going to be hot. Really hot. And we're not talking about the outfits! We could see triple-digit temps again, according to our KHOU 11 meteorologists.
WATCH: Pride celebration forecast
Stay weather smart and stay hydrated, seek out shady spots and avoid alcohol. We know it's tempting to celebrate with booze but it can put you at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.
There will be water available on the grounds and here's a map that shows where to find it.
How to watch the Houston Pride parade online
Too hot for you? No worries. You can watch the parade online exclusively on all KHOU 11 digital platforms, including YouTube, our app, khou.com and KHOU 11+, which you can download for free on Roku or Fire TV.
KHOU 11 is proud to partner with Pride Houston 365 for this year's festival and pride parade to celebrate our LGBT+ community.
Pride parade street closures
Even if you're not attending the big Pride events on Saturday, they could affect your plans if you're heading downtown. There's a long list of street closures, including Allen Parkway and the main Festival site at Walker and Bagby.
- McKinney from Bagby to Louisiana Street
- Walker from Bagby to Smith Street
- Bagby, east curb lane from Lamar Street
- Bagby from Lamar to Walker at 5:00 a.m. until 3 a.m. Sunday
- McKinney exit ramp off I-45 North
- Lamar from Bagby to Smith
- Smith from Lamar to Walker
- Smith from Rusk to Lamar
- McKinney at Smith
- McKinney from Bagby to Louisiana
- Outbound Allen Parkway from Bagby to Montrose until 10 p.m.
Noon to 6 p.m.
- Smith from Lamar to Dallas
- Inbound Allen Parkway from Taft to Bagby/Dallas till 11:00 p.m.
- Bagby from Rusk to Dallas until 10:30 p.m.
- Walker from Bagby to Milam
- Milam from Walker to Pease
- Pease from Milam to Smith
If you want to avoid the street closures and traffic altogether, Pride has blocked discounted rooms at the nearby Courtyard by Marriott at 916 Dallas Street.
Where to get Pride parade tickets
The parade on Saturday night is free but there's a small admission fee for the festival this year.
You can buy general admission tickets for $5, but they'll be $10 at the gate. Children 12 and under and seniors 60 and older get in free.
The admission to festival grounds includes outdoor concerts, various entertainment, DJs, a Family Fun Zone as well as exhibition and vendor booths.
For $40, you can get a ticket for the Main Stage Experience, which gives you better views of the concerts and access to the Main Stage Bar.
The VIP tickets are $250 and include:
- Exclusive VIP Entrance to Festival and Parade
- Open Bar in Festival and Parade
- Access to Main Stage Plaza
- Cooling Relaxation Zone in Festival
- Grandstand Parade Viewing
- Cooling VIP Restrooms
- Catered Food
- VIP Swag Bag
All tickets are non-refundable.
The headliner is rapper Coi Leray at 4:30 p.m. She recently released a single with rapper Nicki Minaj called "Blick Blick."
- DJ URI
- Marium Echo Band
- Kris & Fire
- CeCe Peniston
- DJ Panda
- DJ D-Baby
Pride security beefed up
After 31 members of a Texas-based white supremacist group were arrested near a Pride event in Idaho, concerns were raised about safety and security at Pride events nationwide, including Houston.
“We met with the city immediately and we took action to make sure we heightened security, and that we had an emergency response plan in place," Chief Consultant with Mad Hat Haven & Pride Houston 365, Heather J. Taylor said.
They say the event’s emergency response plan will include uniformed and undercover officers from all different agencies – including Houston police, Harris County Precinct One, Homeland Security and even private security.
“This is a party. This is a celebration. People are screaming, throwing beads, having a good time. The last thing we want anybody to worry about is that there’s not someone watching out for them," Taylor said.
Along with a large police presence, expect tighter security. Only fanny packs and small purses will be allowed.
RELATED: After extremists arrested in Idaho, LGBTQ Texans and Pride organizers balance safety with desire to celebrate