One of the Houston LGBT community traditions that happens every Easter Sunday is the plaza and park in front of the Wortham Theater Center becomes the site of a major fundraising party that draws people from as far away for it as New York and California and over its history has raised over $550,000.
It’s the Bunnies on the Bayou Party, and this 36th edition of it drew a crowd of thousands 21 and up that enjoyed a cool and cloudy Houston day to listen to the sounds of DJ Joe Ross and DJ Special K with proceeds going to several LGBT community organizations.
The Bunnies On The Bayou party got started in 1979 as a small Easter Sunday party amongst friends in a Clay Street apartment complex. The word of mouth about the event spread throughout the gayborhood and helped it grow into an outdoor party the next year that added an outdoor sound system and sent out invitations for it.
With AIDS taking a terrible toll in the Houston LGBT community by the mid 1980’s, the party evolved to help people in our community struggling to overcome it. The party hosts decided to help their friends suffering from AIDS by charging a bag of food as admission for the still growing event.
By the 1990’s the outdoor party had grown so large it was moved to the brand new Wortham Center Plaza downtown next to Buffalo Bayou, and Bunnies on the Bayou was born as the party evolved once again, set up a 501(c)3 organization and began to raise money for local charities.
This was the first time I’d ever attended the event, and was nice to not only see some familiar friends in the H-town SGL, bi and trans community wandering Fish Plaza and the Buffalo Bayou hike and bike path that the massive party covered, but meet some new ones while enjoying complementary adult beverages and wonderful conversation with people outside my usual circles of influence in the Houston BTLG community/.
It was also fun to see the people who came dressed in costumes for this event that included two gentlemen who were covered in full silver body paint while other attendees wore bunny ears..
It was a fun, festive charity event that I’m looking forward to see what happens in its 37th edition next year.