The Houston Gay Pride Parade is a Gay Pride festival held annually since 1979 in the Neartown area of Houston. The festival takes place in June to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies. The route of the parade is usually along Westheimer Road, from Dunlavy Street and ending at Crocker Street. It is currently the most attended and largest gay pride event in the Southwest region of the United States.
The festivities are held all day on the 4th Saturday of June. The highlight of the event is the parade which is held in the evening after sunset since 1997 (which was arranged by then-Houston City Councilmember Annise Parker where a parade ordinance was revised). Because the event is held at night, the various floats and surroundings are creatively illuminated by the various participants.
On September 30, 2014, the Pride Committee of Houston's executive board voted to move the parade to Downtown Houston commencing June 2015 - this was not the first time the board considered the move where it was first discussed in 2008. The 2014 decision resulted in voiced opposition within Houston's GLBT community feeling that the Pride Committee of Houston did not allow transparency concerning community input on having the parade moved where a splinter group will be likely established - much like the former Westheimer Street Festival and the 2001 future of the Houston Art Car Parade (which remained but not affiliated with the Houston International Festival) there has been blog posts about the move - also on social media (Twitter, Facebook) there are those who feel that the GLBT community was cheated. As of February 2015, the proposed Montrose Homecoming Walkabout is in the works to be held in late June.
On June 29, 2015, it was announced that the Houston Pride Festival attracted 700,000 attendees which set a new record.