Austin

The Ultimate Guide to Austin Pride in August

Keep this party going, y'all.

Photo by Dave Wilson
Photo by Dave Wilson
Photo by Dave Wilson

Pride isn’t over in ATX just yet… so shantay, you stay! Austin’s Pride 2022 takes place on August 20th, and though there’s been a bit of to and fro with the date, the party’s been heaving ever since nationwide frolics began back in June. We’ve done the AGLIFF Film Festival, the gay rodeo at Dripping Springs, the Pride Pagent at Rain on 4th, the new Round Rock Pride, and Austin Black Pride, and well, we’re still thirsty for more. Let’s not forget that there hasn’t been an official Austin Pride celebration since way back in 2019. The parade was canceled both in 2020 and 2021, so right now the city is absolutely gagging for just about anything with multi-colored stripes and sequins. Not done with Pride yet, either? Here’s what’s coming up in August, family.

The Pride Parade

August 20
The star attraction is, of course, the pride parade. With over 400,000 attending in 2019, this year’s projected to be even bigger. It’s put on by the Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation, our modest local non-profit, and though slots to join are sold out, you can still support the cause by donation or volunteering. The parade is free to watch, beginning at the State Capitol at 8 pm, working its way down Congress Ave and ending on the Ann Richards Bridge.
Cost: Free

Beyond the Rainbow Festival

August 20
You can’t have a parade without the party. Beyond the Rainbow is the official event, held all day long (11 am till 6 pm) in Fiesta Gardens. Bold and outspoken rapper Cupcakke will headline, amongst other special guests. There will be plenty of free games and carnival rides, over 140 vendor booths, drinks and food, and a drag queen storytime. Tickets are available online and at the gates (bring cash).
Cost: General entry from $20.

Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Austin
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Austin
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Austin

Pop Princesses Drag Brunch

August 7
What do you get when you throw a bunch of Ariana tunes, mimosas, and a meaty tuck together? Pop Princesses drag brunch, of course. On August 7 at 10:30 am, The Four Seasons Hotel Austin will see local favorites Ritzy Bitz and Celia Light, plus iconic New Orleans queens Kookie Baker and Jessica Champagne, impress Pride patrons with a polished lip-sync extravaganza. The accompanying brunch buffet will be New Orleans-inspired, with goodies like Poached Jumbo Shrimp and Crab Claws. Plus, 20% of proceeds will support Out Youth, a non-profit organization that serves Central Texas LGBTQIA+ youth and their allies.
Cost: $150 for the show, brunch, 2 BEV brand sparkling wines per person, gratuity, and taxes.

Rainbow Skate

August 17
Ever since we saw Texan pop diva Jessica Simpson take to the rink with her gal pals in A Public Affair, roller skating has become a gay Lone Star state sport. Rainbow Skate honors our aerobic interests, soundtracked by DJ Chorizo Funk-aka the best DJ in Austin-and is open to all ages at the Playland Skate Center.
Cost: $12

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Austin
Photo courtesy of Fairmont Austin
Photo courtesy of Fairmont Austin

Austin Pride Recovery Drag Bingo Brunch

August 20
Fairmont Austin’s an official Austin Pride Partner, so naturally, they have the biggest and best pool party of the week. Head up to Rules & Regs on the seventh floor for a lot of wet fun in company of the Extragrams queens of Austin (apparently, they’re very ‘extra’) and be sure to crash the night and make the Austin Pride Recovery Drag Bingo Brunch the next morning, for more of the same but with prizes worth getting up for (last year they gave away generous staycations at the hotel).
Cost: Food prices vary, no cover.

Jazz at Pride

August 11
Pride doesn’t always have to be about Gaga and glitter. How about an evening of jazz to commemorate the occasion? Jazz at Pride premiers for the first time in Austin, featuring world-class artists from the LGBTQIA+ community in a modern, twerk-your-butt-off-to-jazz setting. A 32-piece orchestra will dazzle with hits from Shania Twain, Dionne Warwick, Dean Martin, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra against a gorgeous downtown backdrop at Skybox on 6th. Local distillery drinks will be available for purchase, and ‘weird and artful attire’ is encouraged.
Cost: Tickets start at $35

Fourth & CO
Fourth & CO
Fourth & CO

Dirty Dynasty Drag Bingo

August 16
Fourth and Co. will be hosting a special Pride Week edition of their famed Dirty Dynasty Bingo with performances and more from Lady-Grackle Birdbreath and Cupcake. Expect drinks specials at the bar, fierce prizes from Austin-based businesses, and a raffle benefiting Austin Pride. This event is for patrons aged 18 and up.
Cost: No cover.

Pride Pregame Party

August 20
Hanging out at the W? Pop downstairs and join in the pre-game fun at the Living Room from 6 – 9 pm. The lounge will have a market of pop up shops, including local vendors The Little Gay Shop, Kaftko, Las Ofrendas, and Natural Tat. There will be free Deep Eddy cocktails, and of course resident hostess with the mostess, Vylette Ward, will be mixing and mingling. The W is a short walk from Fourth Street’s best gay bars. If you’re still in the neighborhood come Sunday, join the WET deck’s Pride Pool Party from 1 – 5 pm.
Cost: FreeWant more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

James Wong is a Libra who spends his time pretending to be a vegan, watching wildlife clips, and booking plane tickets. Born in London, lived in Tokyo, and now residing in Austin, his greatest achievement is giving Posh Spice a hug in 2016.

Austin

Get Lucky at These Irish Bars in Austin

Drink a green pint on St Patrick's Day at these Irish bars in Austin.

Photo by Melissa Vinsik, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by Melissa Vinsik, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by Melissa Vinsik, courtesy of Cork + Barrel

In the midst of all the SXSW chaos, it helps to remember that there’s a rainbow at the festival’s end-that is, the hangover-blessing we’ve been granted of having St. Patrick’s Day 2023 fall on a Friday. Whether you attribute this small win to the Gregorian calendar or the luck of the Irish, it’s sure to amp up the already liver-damaging activities associated with this cultural celebration. However, √Čire is more than just leprechauns and Colin Farrell-it’s a breathtaking land full of warm, welcoming, and good-hearted people. Fortunately, there’s a way you can get a taste of the Republic’s spirit, and a dark stout, at the same time by hitting up one of Austin’s various Irish pubs. From cozy, intimate spaces decked out like small taverns in Cobh, to modern dives with all the party energy of Temple Bar, our list has the best spots in the city to “erin go bragh” all out on March 17.

Photo by Jane Yun, courtesy of BD Rileys
Photo by Jane Yun, courtesy of BD Rileys
Photo by Jane Yun, courtesy of BD Rileys

B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub at Mueller

Mueller
With a giant model of a beer tap literally decorating their front door, you can’t miss B.D Riley’s, nor doubt that this East Austin hang is a spot to down some serious brewskis. And its name, and perfect pours of Guinness, aren’t the only aspects they draw from the Emerald Isle-the entire pub itself was actually designed and built in Dundalk, Ireland, and shipped over for assembly in Bat City. Such authentic decor calls for equally authentic sounds, therefore, on St. Patrick’s Day, B.D. Riley’s will feature an all-day, four-artist bill of live, trad-inspired music. So, while you may not start the day knowing all the words to “The Galway Girl,” you are bound to sing along by last call.

Kelly’s Irish Pub

Bouldin Creek
Having only opened this past December, Kelly’s is the new kid with a brogue on the block. Occupying the space which formerly housed tapas restaurant Winebelly, this pub had big shoes to fill for South Austin barflies, but quickly won them over with an impressive whiskey selection and friendly atmosphere. A big reason behind the real deal √Čire vibes can, most likely, be chalked up to the fact that one of Kelly’s owners was actually born and bred in Ireland-and the dedication to delivering a true-to-life experience is evident in everything from the shepherd’s pie to the witty bartenders. For St. Patrick’s Day, they are getting the party started early with live music and an opening time of 8 am.

Photo courtesy of Jack & Ginger's
Photo courtesy of Jack & Ginger’s
Photo courtesy of Jack & Ginger’s

Jack & Ginger’s

The Domain
While The Domain may boast more bars than you can shake a shamrock at, there’s only one spot in the North Austin entertainment behemoth that can be properly called an Irish pub: Jack & Ginger’s. Start off the night with selecting a tasting flight from their over 82 beers on tap, then, move onto shots poured straight from their Irish Whiskey Tours-after loosening up with a round or two, you might just find yourself with the gift of gab. And, before snapping a selfie over Jack & Ginger’s see-through glass floor, balance out that buzz with food offerings like a giant soft pretzel or a round of fried pickles.

Photo courtesy of Foxy's Proper Pub
Photo courtesy of Foxy’s Proper Pub
Photo courtesy of Foxy’s Proper Pub

Foxy’s Proper Pub

Downtown
Here’s a spot that visibly radiates with Irish pride-at Foxy’s, the glow of green beams out from the bar’s lighted panels, and across their chandelier made of Jameson bottles. When it comes to cups and chow, their commitment to the theme continues-the use of the word,”proper,” in the pub’s name alone indicates you’re in for a heavy pour of the standards. Consequently, the taps are abundant with essential Irish sips, including Guinness, Magners, and Smithwick’s. With Lone Star on draft, there’s also a nod to Texas tradition as well. But don’t fear if you’re bored of beer-Foxy’s variety of whiskey-based cocktails will let you switch it up (and still keep it Celtic). March 17 will find them celebrating with live music, whiskey tastings, and swag giveaways.

Photo by LEVY Architects, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by LEVY Architects, courtesy of Cork + Barrel
Photo by LEVY Architects, courtesy of Cork + Barrel

Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery

Round Rock
Compared to a flight to Dublin, the 30-minute drive to Round Rock’s Cork & Barrel is much more convenient-not to mention, won’t require waiting in a TSA line. A mix between a modern Austin beer garden and a historical Irish pub, this spot’s spacious interior and expansive outdoor patio guarantees there will be enough room for the whole crew to cheer “sl√°inte.” And, their microbrewery’s signature beers are the ideal drinks to do such a toast with. The menu of specially crafted drafts includes a blueberry wheat, an Irish red ale, and a vanilla stout. This St. Patrick’s Day also marks Cork & Barrel’s two-year anniversary, and they are throwing down for the double-celebration with live music, yard games, Irish food specials, and plentiful amounts of green beer and Irish Car Bombs.

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Molly Moltzen is a Thrillist contributor.

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