Parade Rules & Guidelines

Parade Registration

With over 100 parade units and 2,500+ participants rolling through the historic Beale Street entertainment district, the Memphis Pride parade is the largest Pride Parade in the State of Tennessee. Families, friends, businesses, and organizations who would like to take part in the celebration can reserve your spot on our website though Corporate Sponsorship, or by filling out the Parade Registration form.

Safety Matters

Mid-South Pride is dedicated to making Memphis Pride Fest safe and enjoyable. With huge crowds expected, including guests from across the country, providing safety with respect for all is our number one priority.

Security Details

In addition to our Parade Logistics team, there will be a significant police presence along the parade route, with both uniformed and plainclothes officers on duty for your safety. Please listen to them and follow their instructions.

As with any large event, there are always safety concerns. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, including participants, organizers, security staff and law enforcement.

Pride is about community. Look out for each other and report any suspicious persons or activity to event staff or a police officer. “If you see something, say something”. In an emergency, call 9-1-1. To provide an anonymous tip, call Memphis Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH (2274)

Heat Precautions

It can be hot, even at the end of September, and participants will be sanding and walking for several hours, so bring water and take the necessary precautions to be sure you don’t overheat.

Pet Safety

Again, it can be hot, and your pets will be doing A LOT of walking, so take the recommended precautions to be sure they don’t overheat. (See the ASPCA Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets) Also, be mindful of other festival-goers and ensure they are on a leash and you clean up behind them.

Rules & Guidelines

Mid-South Pride strives to make Memphis Pride Fest and Memphis Pride Parade fun, safe and family-friendly event. We therefore require all contingents in the parade to adhere to the following rules and guidelines:

Parade Representative

Each group is required to designate a “Parade Representative”. The Parade Representative will serve as the primary contact for the parade parade logistics team, and is expected report to the parade lineup point for entry verification and final lineup instructions no later than 90 minutes prior to the step-off time. The parade representative is also expected to remain with the group for the duration of the parade lineup and procession (About 3 hours).

Height Restrictions

Please be aware that there is a height restriction of 13′ 11″ due to obstacles along the parade route. If any part of a unit exceeds this limit, it must be collapsible or removable. This includes vehicles, decorations, costumes, signage, and delusions of grandeur. (and you know who you are…)

Lineup Sequence

All entries will be lined up at the discretion of the parade director and logistics team based on the type of unit, logistics, and other factors. The lineup sequence, parade route, and more specific instructions will be posted approximately 5 to 7 days prior to the event at midsouthpride.org/lineup

Do not park vehicles in the lineup area before receiving instructions from a parade logistics team member.

Check-In Times

Check-in for floats and rolling vehicles will begin 90 minutes prior to the step-off time. Walking groups are to check in up 60 minutes prior to the step-off time. Entries that arrive less than 15 minutes before step-of may not be permitted into the lineup.

As a rule of thumb, check-in / lineup times vary according to unit type. For example:

  • ROLLING VEHICLES - 90 minutes prior to step-off time
  • WALKING GROUPS - 60 minutes prior to step-off time
  • FLAG-BEARERS - 60 minutes prior to step-off time

Parade Route & Duration

The parade route changes every year, but it is typically less than 1/2 mile in length, and will last approximately 90 minutes.

Etiquette During the Parade

Mid-South Pride Parade participants must understand and agree that this Parade is intended to be, and at all times shall be, a Family Friendly event.  Therefore, Parade participants shall not display any materials, or behave in any way, that are obscene, sexually explicit, pornographic, or indecent as described in City, County, State, and Federal law. By submitting the electronic Parade Registration, each group agrees to adhere to this policy.   If individuals or groups do not comply, they will be subject to immediate removal from the Parade.

Spacing & Timing

  • The Parade must keep moving.  Only a brief stop in front of the Judges will be allowed.  Do not stop in front of the Judges for more than 15 seconds (60 Seconds for Performing Artists). Try to keep 20FT (min) to 40FT (max) of space between your group and the group in front of you for the following reasons:
  • To keep the parade running on schedule
  • To minimize health risks in case of excessive heat.
  • To allow spectators and photographers to get a clear view of your group.
  • To prevent judges from confusing your group with the group in front of you.
  • To keep banners and signs visible.
  • Parade Volunteers and Memphis Police will be on site to quickly move any unit along, or out of the route.

Parade Contest

All paid and pre-registered entries are eligible for entry in the parade contest with the exception of Mid-South Pride representatives and those that comprise the front-end of the lineup (Grand Marshals, flag-bearers, Mr. & Miss Mid-South Pride, city and state representatives, etc.)

Judging & Awards

Judging for the Parade will be conducted by a panel selected by the Parade Director and Logistics Team, and managed by the Judging Coordinator. Eligible entries will be judged on:

  • Theatrical Performances
  • Outstanding Costumes
  • Bold, Coloful Decorations
  • Spirit / Enthusiasm
  • Meaningful Message
  • Overall Creativity

Award Categories

Winners will be awarded in the categories listed below, however, judges do have the option of bestowing additional awards.

  • Best Newcomer
  • Best Walking Group
  • Best Rolling Group
  • Best Float
  • Best Performing Arts Group
  • Best In Show (Grand Prize)

Winner Announcement

Winners will be announced on the Main Stage, usually about 60 to 90 minutes after the parade ends.

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