It's, um, hard to find a better people-watching extravaganza than H-town's annual Pride Festival. This year's open-air party in the Montrose includes music by Duran Duran cover band Reflex, Liviya Compean, and headliner Taylor "Tell It To My Heart" Dane. (Let's hope she rocks those dance moves from the video.) Check out interactive gaming and educational stuff in the tents, or ride a mechanical bull (behave!) and nosh on grub and sip cocktails. 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Festival entrance at the intersection of Westheimer and Commonwealth.
Later, head down to lower Westheimer for the 28th annual nighttime Pride Parade. The largest gay and lesbian event in the Southwest features more than 130 participants, including lighted floats, colorful marching units and a Mardi Gras worth of beads. The fab drag queens and their over-the-top costumes are reason alone to catch this parade, which gets rollin' at 8:45 p.m. Parade runs through lower Westheimer, between Woodhead and Stanford. For information on the festival and parade, visit www.pridehouston.org.
After you've had your fill of floats, hustle over to nearby South Beach (810 Pacific, 713-529- 7623) for the Official After the Pride Party. New York City's legendary circuit DJ Billy Carroll will drop a seamless flow of hot house tracks all night. Since he started DJing more than a quarter of a century ago, Carroll has spun all around the world, including New York's legendary Studio 54 and Paradise Garage. The kind of energy Carroll creates on the dance floor during his set has been described as "being at a circus."
Afterwards, Spoiled Boyz is throwing Shout! The Official Pride After-Hours at the posh downtown club Next (2020 McKinney, 713-221-8833), where Miami-based DJ, producer and remixer Angelo Kortez will spin progressive and tribal house tracks that'll keep the party going well into the hour when churchgoers are leaving the house. After The Pride Party doors at 9 p.m. For tickets, visit www.getquickticks.com. $15. Shout! doors at 3:30 a.m. For tickets, visit www.spoiledboyz.net. $25.