Organizing Pride [Exhibit Panel]


Lambda Rising continued to sponsor Pride as the event grew and became an annual tradition. Pride ‘76 doubled the previous year’s turnout and brought in more organizations, including Parents of Gays (now known as PFLAG), always one of the most popular participants. Then-DC Council member Marion Barry’s presentation of the official Pride proclamation at the 1977’s block party began the annual tradition of appearances by local politicians. By 1979, the celebration overwhelmed 20th Street. It was time for a larger venue.

In 1980, P Street Festival, Inc., was established to organize Pride events on the grounds of the Francis School, along 23rd Street NW and a small grassy stretch of Rock Creek Park known to locals as “P Street Beach.” The larger location accommodated more organizational booths, sports events, art, food, vendors, music and dancing. Almost every member of the City Council attended that year’s events, enough to field a DC City Council vs. Gay community softball game.

A new organization, Gay and Lesbian Pride of Washington, took over the management of the festival in 1988.





“Organizing Pride [Exhibit Panel],” Rainbow History Project Digital Collections, accessed June 25, 2024,

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