Pflugerville celebrates its first Pride Festival

Courtney and Sabrina Einsla said they were excited and amazed to get the chance to finally be able to celebrate their truth in the city where they live during the first Pride Festival in Pflugerville.

Married for six years and living in town, they thought was closed-minded, they said they were surprised at the great turnout and to see how open the Pflugerville community was. “We couldn’t be happier,” said Sabrina Einsla.

“It means something to me to see little children walking around,” she said. said. “I was afraid to be myself and just seeing open-minded parents and exposing their children shows that we are human.”

Despite the triple-digit temperatures, thousands of participants were in full swing. Couples, families and friends walked the streets of downtown, with many showing their pride with flags, shirts or dyed hair and taking advantage of the many food trucks available.

The first Gay Pride event in Pflugerville was hosted on June 18 by Pflugerville Pride, featuring the usual rainbows, glitter and drag queens.

Marc Garcia, president of Pflugerville Pride and the organizer of the event, said he was impressed by the number of people who were at the festival, with nearly 2,000 people pre-registered to attend.

“I think it shows that people want to celebrate pride, diversity and love.” Garcia said in an email. “People came from all over to attend our Pfestival, including from Georgia, California and all over Texas including Austin, Houston and Dallas. … And of course from here in Pflugerville. We are thrilled with the numbers . “

The festival, which featured drag shows, an LGTBQ+ panel and teen open mic, all hit capacity, he said. Mayor Victor Gonzales and Council Member Jim McDonald spoke at the festival’s opening ceremony.

In March, the Pflugerville City Council passed a resolution supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in March.

Leah Thompson lives in Georgetown and brought her 9-year-old girl at the festival so that she can be exposed to the difference of people and families and that everyone needs to be loved for who they are.

“I just heard that this generation is so much more tolerant,” Thompson said.

Priscilla Mendoza, left, and Bernice Mendoza pose during a photocall at the first Gay Pride event in Pflugerville on June 18.  The festival was organized by Pflugerville Pride.

Pride Month takes place in June to mark the anniversary of the 1969 Uprising at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, which sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement. Some of the first Pride parades were held the following year in a few major American cities. The official Austin Pride events were started in 1990.

Long popular in big cities, Pride festivals are gaining traction in some surrounding suburbs. Round Rock and Leander each held their first Pride events on June 4 and May 14, respectively, and Taylor will host its second Pride festival on Saturday.

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Garcia said he was inspired to start a festival in Pflugerville after witnessing support from community and city leaders for the inaugural Gay Pride event last year in Taylor, in the eastern county. of Williamson.

Garcia said he wants the Pflugerville festival to become a “destination event” during official Pride Month in June because Austin doesn’t celebrate until August.

As Pflugerville continues to grow and diversify, Garcia said, it’s a great time to celebrate that diversity not just within the LGBTQ+ community, but in Pflugerville.

“Next month we start planning for Pflugerville Pride 2023,” Garcia said. “We have lots of ideas for how our Pfestival will grow next year. It will be even bigger with many more events. So stay tuned…we’re just getting started.”

Participants line up to quench their thirst at the first Gay Pride event in Pflugerville.

Keole Silva and Michelle, who did not want to use his surname, comes next Mansion to attend the festival. Michelle said she finds it fantastic that smaller towns are hosting Pride festivals.

“Everyone should have a place to go and be themselves” she says, “and especially in small towns (where) a lot of places aren’t as open and welcoming to people.”

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