PHOTOS: San Antonio celebrates Pride in true River City style

San Antonio, Texas celebrated a rainbow of representation with the second annual Pride River Parade.
Photos by Jerry Nunn for GayCities

San Antonio proudly hosted its second annual Pride River Parade on June 10, 2023, with impressive floating spectacles that showcased River City’s rainbow of representation. The Pride River Parade started at the Downtown Reach of the San Antonio River Walk and snaked along the River Walk Museum Reach. 

A float on the river with drag two blonde drag queens and a group of waving people

Festivities proceeded the parade included programming throughout the afternoon at La Villita’s Arneson River Theatre on an outdoor stage with acts such as Shonnie Murrell & Funk Potion #9 and Live Oak Singers, among the entertainment. The event was sponsored by Bud Light, a beer company that has recently received backlash for its support of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States.

Two women adorned in rainbow attire stand in the shade. One wears a multi-colored feathered boa, the other wears a rainbow sequined tube top

Marc Anderson, president and CEO of Visit San Antonio announced the beginning of this special flatboat parade on the microphone to spotlight American Idol and Wow Presents’ Queen of the Universe contestant Ada Vox who sang live as the grand marshal.

A river float with pastel colors and giant butterflies floats down the river

Regional representation on the floating canal boats ran the gamut from drag-friendly restaurants to important health service centers. 

A group of allies stand with a rainbow umbrella above them

An organization providing resources for those who are HIV positive named Operation BRAVE (an acronym for Bexar County response and victory in ending the epidemic) waved massive rainbow hearts in the air to raise awareness.

A rainbow pride float makes its way down the river

A recurring theme to the Pride River Parade was a wave of celebrity lookalikes showing performers with loyal LGBTQ+ followings.

A float filled with dancing people and a DJ booth

Britney Spears’ costumes from over the years were shown on one active float and other impersonators including Elton John and Lady Gaga dappled the river. Busty Barge and Sea Life entertained by coasting by on a barge full of bright purple, Prince-inspired representation.

A purple Prince inspired float with a shark mascot dancing in the front

The crowds in the stands went wild over beads, t-shirts, and snacks that were passed around over the course of the festive occasion.  

A colorful float filled with smiling, waving people

The only payment required for the all-day party was support and love for this diverse segment of the population.

A large group stands with a woman in a tall feathered head dress. All smiling and holding some kind of Pride memorabilia.
A group of people stand proudly on a docked float
A group of people all sporting fabulous multi-colored boas
A float covered in rainbow hearts
Two people stand smiling. One has wild pink hair and drag makeup
A group of people all smiling broadly at the camera
A float with a giant frog
The back of a large crowd watching the floats go by on the river
A flower adorned stage with a band and lead singer performing outside
Three lovely ladies all dressed to the 9s stand together in the sun
A large group gathers on outdoor steps to watch a show by the river

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