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Dripping with pride: DS celebrates pride with festival

By Brittany Anderson

DRIPPING SPRINGS — It was a day of love, acceptance and a lot of rainbows — but most of all, pride. 

Pride of Dripping Springs held its second annual pride festival at Dripping Springs Ranch Park on June 25. Hundreds of attendees of all ages, genders and sexualities gathered to safely and unabashedly celebrate themselves and each other with all-day entertainment. 

Hundreds came to celebrate Pride at Dripping Springs Ranch Park with music, dancing, games and more. Photo by Dave Wilson.

While the Texas Gay Rodeo Association was unable to attend and put on the barrel and pole racing events as slated, the show still went on. Family-friendly fun went on for hours with a DJ, live music, a variety of local vendors selling clothes, jewelry, apothecary items and more, information booths, local food and fully stocked bars, and various activities for kids and teens.

Dozens of vendors and information booths set up shop to celebrate Pride. Photo by Brittany Anderson.

Two Dripping Springs High School students, Niko Upton and Colin Tuohy, also spoke about their Pride experience and performed Don’t Rain On My Parade, respectively. 

Upton is a rising sophomore and president of the school’s Critical Mass Club, which discusses LGBTQ+ history and education and serves as a safe space for LGBTQ+ students to talk about things they wish others had talked to them about when they were younger.  

“I spent a lot of my middle school years trying to hide who I was, trying to push it, to forget about it, to save it for later to figure it out,” Upton said. “I realized I didn’t have to hide it anymore … that’s what Pride means to me. It’s being able to be who you are, unapologetically, and to stand up and say, ‘I am now the person my seventh grade self needed.’  … for our little selves, that is so important.” 

Dozens of kids also gathered around for Drag Story Time as drag queen Celia Light read Incredible You! by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, offering children messages of how to create happy, successful lives while remaining true to themselves and understanding that they are unique. 

Drag queen Celia Light read Incredible You! by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer at the Pride of Dripping Springs festival.
Photo by Brittany Anderson

“This is really beautiful for me to see,” Light said to the crowd. “I grew up in a time where this wasn’t really a possibility and it wasn’t an opportunity for me … cherish this time together. Hold your family close. Love each other very much.” 

Pride of Dripping Springs works closely with members of the community, and even provides scholarships to DSISD students. The organization’s’ vice president Joe Harris said that a large part of their mission is to support kids in creating an environment of support, acceptance, visibility and normalizing being themselves — bettering their experience from the generations that came before them.

“We want them to grow up knowing that they can be themselves, no matter what or who that is,” Harris said. “We want them to know that this town, these people in this room, accept them and love them for exactly who they are.” 

At 7 p.m., the event became 18 and up only with the After Dark party, with drag performances, music and dancing through the night.  

For more information on the Pride of Dripping Springs, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/prideofdrippingsprings, and stay tuned for their Pride celebration in 2023. 

About Author

Brittany Anderson graduated from Texas State University in August 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She previously worked at KTSW 89.9, Texas State University's radio station, for nearly two years in the web content department as a writer and assistant manager. She has reported for the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch since July 2021.

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