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Although the fictitious Dolly Levi was so upset by the notion of the parade passing her by that she had to belt out a tune to that effect, enjoying the Capital Pride Parade as it passes by is a highlight of the District’s annual calendar.
With the distinction of being voted D.C.’s best parade by readers of Washington City Paper this year and last — even edging out the 2009 Inauguration Parade, which took second place — the Capital Pride Parade is obviously a beloved institution. Marking its 28th year, the parade should continue its steps in the right direction with Valerie Harper of Rhoda fame, currently in town channeling Tallulah Bankhead in Looped, serving as grand marshal.
If thoughts of the throngs of parade watchers lining the sidewalks from the edge of Rock Creek Park to 14th Street NW deter you, Capital Pride organizers say that, as of press time, $35 and $40 VIP seats are still available at the Announcers Stand with emcee Jo Arnone (18th Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW) and at the Review Stand with emcee Jason Bellini (in front of the Whole Foods on P Street NW). Online sales run through Friday, June 12, with any remaining tickets available onsite. The parade steps off at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 13, rain or shine.
Come Sunday, June 14, the action loses mobility while remaining animated along Pennsylvania Avenue, between Third and Seventh Streets NW. The Capital Pride Festival, in its 34th year, is the city’s largest.
In addition to three performance stages, this year’s festival includes a family area and two “beverage gardens,” with the rocking Main Stage garden hosted by Nellie’s Sports Bar. As ever, what’s not called for are dogs, whose poor paws are no match for broiling blacktop. And while admission is free, a $2 to $5 donation is suggested as you enter on Seventh Street.
For more information or for parade tickets, visit www.capitalpride.org, or call 202-719-5304. For more information, see the online version of the Official Pride Guide, or pick up a complimentary copy, available wherever you pick up Metro Weekly, and in bulk outside of Lambda Rising Bookstore, 1625 Connecticut Ave. NW.