Pride Fort Lauderdale, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary this year hit a home run with its beachfront venue on Sunday, February 26th. For many years, gay pride has been rather disjointed in my opinion. With an LGBTQ community as large and dynamic as Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale has, you would think that a Gay PRIDE festival would be a major extravaganza. Not so until this year. Prior years the event was held in Wilton Manors and even once in the neighboring city of Oakland Park, but never was it the magnitude of this year.
This year, the event planners for Gay Fort Lauderdale Pride chose to hold the event right on Fort Lauderdale Beach amongst the sand and ocean breeze, call it PRIDE FORT LAUDERDALE on the beach, and what a huge success it was. There has never been a turn out like this before.
The day was filled with the most diverse crowd of people all mixing and mingling and embracing one another. Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual Transgender and Hetrosexual all coming together dancing on one dance floor. Entertaining on the stage throughout the day was Erika Jane, Brian Justin Crum, Ty Herndon, DJ Wendy Hunt and DJ AJ Reddy. Everyone was considered. There was an alcohol-free dry area. There was an area where families could partake in arts and crafts and other wholesome activities. For those who have the need to feel special, the W Fort Lauderdale sponsored the Living Room VIP Lounge. There was even an area dedicated to the seniors of the community. You could reach out and feel the excitement in the air. It was an amazing day of utter enjoyment for the gay Fort Lauderdale community and their supporters.
The official Saturday Party was held at Alibi Monkey Bar and the official Sunday Party was held at the Manor, both located in Wilton Manors.