Houston parties for Pride with downtown festival

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Day drunk in rainbow revelry, LGBT Houston celebrated on Saturday by partying through the Pride festival outside City Hall. 

The expansive setup – the first time for the festival in its new digs in Hermann Square downtown – provided plenty of room for thousands upon thousands of people basking in the sun, cruising 140 vendor booths in the shade, cooling off in the reflecting pool and even climbing a rock wall. 

As if Pride alone isn't enough to celebrate, the festival came a day after the historic Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in Texas (and everywhere else). That meant gay marriages at the nearby civil courthouse and an evening rally led by Mayor Annise Parker at Discovery Green.

Saturday's festival – a warm up to the nighttime Pride parade – included entertainers Estelle, Ginger Minj, Big Freedia and Pride Superstar winner Gin Martini. Gay Houston teens Austin Wallis and Nicolay Sysyn introduced several entertainers from the Bud Light Stage. Wallis, a YouTube gaylebrity, made national news earlier this year when he was forced out of his small Christian high school over being gay. The event also offered a Family Fun Zone and LGBT History exhibit.

The festival capped a week of events from Pride Houston, including the Salvation Pool Party, the Pride Superstar Finale, Rock the Runway and Wonderland Houston. The festival was followed by a parade with 130 entries, an After Party at South Beach and the Heroes Tea Dance at F Bar.

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