So, all that aside, what are some things I can do at a gay pride parade to make it more enjoyable? What can I expect? It's not a large one like NYC or other places, but it still has people from Nashville and other surrounding areas coming!
Where is this Pride? Most of the small ones are pretty tame, to the point of being TOO small & uninteresting. It's only mostly the big city ones that get raunchy. Your fears may be groundless.
And you don't have to wear a "costume", many guys don't. In fact at today's Pride I'm attending most people will be wearing everyday summer clothes, despite our being in "Gay Central" for South Florida, Fort Lauderdale/Wilton Manors.
Today will be around my 14th or 15th Pride Fest & Parade. And one of 2 or 3 times I won't be in the Parade and staffing a booth myself, sometimes for 2 full days. So I have a fair amount of experience with them.
The previous advice above is great, mostly practical matters of dealing with being outdoors all day, same as with any outdoor festival or event. Think of it almost like hiking all day, although don't overpack. I'll add:
- Check the weather forecast. If a good probability of rain bring a small folding umbrella for your backpack or shoulder bag, or some rain gear. That's what I'm doing today, we expect some T-storms.
- Wear sunglasses.
- Bring a camera if your smartphone camera isn't high enough quality. But keep it secure, as with all your possessions. Wallet and money in front pockets.
- Bring some cash, besides your bank card, but not too much. Some food & drink vendors may take only cash, and other merchants. Plus cash makes things easier when the beer tent is packed. Although some festivals use a ticket system, where you buy tickets from a booth. That's all the food & drink vendors will accept, which helps the lines move quicker. But still bring singles for the tip jars.
- Parking may cost, so have money ready if you drive, $5-10 in some lots.
- Drink lots of water, in addition to any alcohol. Some exhibitors will give bottled water away free, but if you have to pay it'll be at pricey event rates. Maybe bring along at least a "starter" bottle of your own.
- Bring your own small snack item, like an energy bar, if you don't wanna buy $7.00 hot dogs.
- Make a written list of all this, so you're all set the day before.
- Don't worry if you don't get it perfect your first year. Hopefully you'll like it enough to return next year with more experience.