San Antonio's Pride events include Night Out at the Zoo and virtual celebration from the Bonham Exchange
Pride San Antonio will be virtual this year, but there are several in-person Pride events. There are some in-person Pride events this year, but the big Pride San Antonio celebration will remain virtual. “A lot of people are calling and asking why it’s virtual when Fiesta’s wide open, ” said James Poindexter, parade director and secretary for Pride San Antonio Inc. “Fiesta is not wide open. And it takes so long to produce our event — it’s like turning a ship to suddenly make changes.” It takes a year to pull together the full, in-person celebration, Poindexter said. Plans are underway now for 2022. This year’s event, which will be streamed live from the Bonham Exchange, will include a panel discussion of legal issues impacting the LGBTQ community and videos in which people talk about how they celebrate Pride. Judge Ron Rangel will conduct a mass wedding of five or six couples. The ceremony has been part of Pride every year since the 2015 Supreme Court ruling upholding same-sex marriage. The Vela Award, which Pride gives each year to a trailblazer, will go to Maria Chavez, a dressmaker who creates ensembles for drag artists. A fashion show spotlighting her work will be part of the festivities. Pride also will pay tribute to two members of the community who died this past year. Nickie Valdez, who died on Christmas Day, co-founded Dignity San Antonio, which aims to fully involve LGBTQ Catholics in the church. She also helped organize the first conference held in San Antonio for the gay community in 1976, according to her obituary in the Express-News. Pride also will honor theater artist Greg Hinojosa, who died in April. Hinojosa was involved in Pride, helping with costumes and makeup, among other things. And Fiesta Frenzy, the annual unofficial Fiesta event he staged with his husband Daniel Acosta, raised money for Pride and other organizations that help the LGBTQ community, including the Gay and Lesbian Community Center. The live stream of the celebration runs from 6 to 10 p.m. June 26 on the Pride San Antonio YouTube page, tinyurl.com/mmadxx48 . It is free to watch, though donations will be taken and an online auction will be held to raise money for the Lone Star Chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights, BEAT AIDS, Fiesta Youth, Metropolitan Community Church, Rape Crisis Center, LGBTQ Coalition of Texas A&M University — San Antonio, the Living Church at Woodlawn Pointe and We Are Alive. Fiesta Frenzy: The unofficial Fiesta event has been going on for more than 20 years, spotlighting drag and burlesque artists and other performers. It was created by the late actor and director Greg Hinojosa and his husband Daniel Acosta. Before Hinojosa’s death in April, he talked to Acosta and others about making sure that the event continued. This year’s outing, the first to take place during Pride month, will include several drag performers, including Eryca Daniels (Acosta) who will co-host with Autumn Summers. It is the first in-person performance at The Public Theater of San Antonio since March of 2020 because of the pandemic. Doors open at 6 p.m. and showtime is 7 p.m. June 23, The Public Theater of San Antonio, San Pedro Park at Ashby. $25 at the door. Night Out at the Zoo: This is the first year that the San Antonio Zoo has had a Pride event, said Catherine Lorenzo, vice president of revenue. It is the product of the zoo’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, which was formed six months ago. “Hopefully, we’ll get to do this every year,” Lorenzo said. The all-ages event will include food trucks, music, animal encounters and vendors. 6-9 p.m. June 26, San Antonio Zoo. $10, facebook.com/SanAntonioZoo . Family Pride Night: Centro San Antonio once again is teaming up with San Antonio Lovelist, Gabriela Mata’s food and lifestyle blog, for a family-themed celebration. The first was held in 2019. The hope is for it to be an annual affair, said Matthew Sirgo, director of storytelling at Centro. The idea is to fill in a gap in the city’s Pride lineup, Sirgo said. “We have this awesome level of Pride every year, and we asked, what is the missing piece?” he said. “We didn’t see that many family Pride events happening around town.” The event will include music by Alyson Alonzo; booths selling wares, including food, from LGBTQ-owned businesses; craft projects; a performance and story time by drag artist Kristi Waters; and a mini-Pride parade around the perimeter of the park led by retired Express-News fashion writer Michael Quintanilla. In addition, information on resources for families and youths will be available. 4:30-7:30 p.m. June 29, Madison Square Park, 400 Lexington. Free.