Changes Ahead for Austin Pride

New president, new weekend?

Austin Pride 2017
Austin Pride 2017 (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Austin Pride is still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which forced organizers to reschedule the city's annual LGBTQ festival and parade on exceptionally short notice and in doing so put the organization nearly $100,000 in debt. Then on Feb. 24, the volunteer-run organization announced that president and board member Paul Huddleston had resigned. Former VP Micah Andress has stepped into the role, and last week he told me the decision was "mutual" – a recognized "time for a change." Andress also confirmed that the new board has decided to pull the Werk Fashion show – a staple of Pride Week – in an effort to save money. Though the show could return in 2019, outreach director Chelsea Wallace said it's too soon to tell. In its place, the board hopes to produce a more community- and budget-friendly event.

Aside from Werk, Andress promised "nothing is really going to change." The board has begun reaching out to potential sponsors and in December opened up registration for both festival and parade participants. Tickets are now on sale, but buyers might notice the date and location are TBD. Though Pride has plans to move to Auditorium Shores, that's unlikely to happen this year. Instead, the fest is expected to return to Fiesta Gardens, but its signature late summer date is currently reserved by the Chronicle's own Hot Sauce Festival, of all things.

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Paul Huddleston, Micah Andress, Austin Pride

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