Color. Sequence. Love. Acceptance. Just a few of things you’ll see this year at St. Pete Pride. In its 15th year, St Pete’s Pride Parade and Celebration kicks off Friday, June 23rd with a concert, presented by Macy’s, in North Straub Park. That’s right, Macy’s! Immediately following the concert, and across the street from the park, The Birchwood presents “Dragtastic!,” a colorful and entertaining drag show featuring headliner Randy Roberts. As seen on America’s Got Talent, Roberts will perform as Cher, Bette Midler and more! Tickets are available by calling The Birchwood, but they won’t last long! On Saturday, the party starts at 2 pm at North Straub Park with the actual parade down Bayshore Drive at 6:30 pm with fireworks to follow.
Insider Tip – the best viewing spot will be on The Canopy, but get there early for the best seats!
On Sunday, Grand Central District comes alive for one of the community’s most-loved events, The St. Pete Pride Street Festival. Exhibitors, cuisine, and entertainment will attract more than 40,000 people!
June was chosen as Pride Month because it marks the anniversary of the June 1969 Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in New York City that had been raided by police. Patrons of the bar rioted against the anti-gay laws that were put in effect to keep establishments from regularly hosting members of the gay community. These riots are often considered one of the main catalysts for the fight for rights and liberation of the LGBT Community.
In 2000, President Bill Clinton officially declared June as National Pride Month. 3 years later, St. Pete Pride was founded as a replacement to Tampa Pride. Much anti-gay rhetoric from Hillsborough County and bans on public displays supporting Gay Pride caused the move to St. Pete. In 2006, St. Pete Pride became the largest Pride event in Florida and this year became the first LGBT event to receive City and County funding for the celebration! The 15-year journey wasn’t an easy one but it has paved the future for acceptance and support of the LGBT community. Keep an eye out for the Pride flags that will be flown proudly all over St. Petersburg.