It’s been a big year for the LGBTQ community, and the good vibes were overflowing at the Austin PRIDE® 25th anniversary festivities. It was a sweltering Saturday, but thousands of folks decked out in their rainbow best braved the heat and celebrated love.

Austin PRIDE® has made a big comeback in recent years, erasing debt, fostering community, and distributing tens of thousands of dollars to local organizations through its “Austin PRIDE Cares” program. As board president Paul Huddleston White noted in the festival program, “Austin PRIDE® has grown from 15,000 attendees in 2011 to over 120,000 in 2014, with even more expected this year!” Thats quite a leap for a non-profit volunteer organization!

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The party kicked off at Fiesta Gardens with the PRIDE Festival, before moving downtown for the evening parade. This year featured a stellar lineup of entertainment including Peaches, Brooke Candy, Exposé, Candis Cayne, tons of drag queens, dancers, DJ’s and other fabulous creatures. There’s no way we could include all of the amazing photos we captured that day, but here are 25 of our favorites. Happy PRIDE y’all!

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Forgot your flag? No worries! Plenty to choose from here!

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What better way to celebrate than with a surprise marriage proposal? BTW she said YES!

...and here's the perfect wedding gift for the happy couple!

…and here’s the perfect wedding gift for the happy couple!

Not a wedding cake, but just as gorgeous, curtesy of the folks at Max's Wine Dive.

Not a wedding cake, but just as gorgeous, curtesy of the folks at Max’s Wine Dive. The inside was rainbow too!

Think being a parade Grand Marshall is all fun and games? Just ask Nathan Garcia, who also booked the entertainment, and played water boy backstage.

Think being a parade Grand Marshal is all fun and games? Just ask Nathan Garcia, who also booked the entertainment, and played water boy backstage. No rest for the weary!

Even the bees got to stay hydrated PRIDE-style.

Even the bees got to stay hydrated PRIDE-style.

Of course in addition to staying hydrated, it helped to wear as little as possible.

Of course in addition to staying hydrated, it helped to wear as little as possible.

If you can't sport a rainbow ensemble, at least cover yourself in glitter.

If you can’t sport a rainbow ensemble, at least cover yourself in glitter.

Oh, OK, you can add some jewels too.

And it’s always acceptable to add some jewels too.

Alternatively, you can go all out with your ensemble.

Alternatively, you can go all out with your ensemble.

Speaking of all-out fashion, Brooke Candy totally stole the show.

Speaking of all-out fashion, Brooke Candy totally stole the show and girl rocked it ALL DAY!

And lest you think this party was strictly for grownups, there were plenty of kids having fun and picking up schwag.

And lest you think this party was strictly for grownups, there were plenty of kids having fun and picking up schwag.

And don't forget about all the fur-kids! They're proud too!

And don’t forget about the fur-kids–they’re proud too!

Dodging kids and dogs was easier than dodging celebrities, cause they were everywhere. Hello Candis Cayne!

Dodging kids and dogs was easier than dodging celebrities, cause they were everywhere. Hello Candis Cayne!

Come Go With Me to the Exposé meet n greet.

Come Go With Me to the Exposé meet n greet.

Alas, Freddie Mercury could only be there in spirit.

Alas, Freddie Mercury could only be there in spirit.

Bye, Peaches, see you at the parade!

Bye, Peaches, see you at the parade!

Let's get rolling down Congress!

Let’s get rolling down Congress!

We're ready!

We’re ready!

So are we!

So are we!

Even the bears are ready!

Even the bears are ready!

Not a bear, but just as cuddly.

Not a bear, but just as cuddly.

Smile and say PRIDE!

Smile and say PRIDE!

PRIIIIIIIIDE!

PRIIIIIIIIDE!

That was awesome--see y'all next year!

That was awesome–see y’all next year!

Special thanks to Austin PRIDE® for VIP access. To learn how to get involved, visit their website here. All photos by Arcie Cola.

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