Why not celebrate National Pride Month in paradise? St. Pete/Clearwater hosts one of the largest Pride celebrations in Florida – the St. Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade – and you can bet the month preceding the event is brimming with can’t-miss GLBT happenings. Look for local, regional and national talents on area stages; join a GLBT cruise or clean-up along our beaches; pre-party inside a museum or nightclub; and hang out in hotspots like downtown St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District.
With the unfurling of a larger-than-life rainbow flag, the St. Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade kicks off annually the last Saturday in June.
During the Promenade, hundreds of contingents parade through seven blocks of downtown St. Pete’s Grand Central District. The Promenade spiritedly dissolves into the Street Festival, a block party that roars with live music, food and drink concessions, vendor exhibits and activities. Participation has swelled in recent years to nearly 90,000 fun-loving attendees.
With so many guests expected, St. Pete/Clearwater’s GLBT social calendar is stacked with things to do come June. Almost daily, you’ll find mixers from the active (dances, beach clean-ups) to the all-out entertaining (fashion shows, the Mister and Miss St. Pete Pride pageants and more). On stages around town, you can hear local, regional and national comedians and musicians – gay and lesbian choral groups are mainstays. And American Stage Theatre in downtown St. Pete has made a tradition of presenting plays as benefits each June.
Truthfully, whatever your passion, there’s a Pride Month event in St. Pete/Clearwater to suit you, whether you’re cheering the MLB Rays on during Pride Night at Tropicana Field, commemorating the Stonewall riots at the Museum of Fine Arts or boarding a sunset cruise out of Clearwater Marina.
Once you’ve glimpsed the Grand Central District during the St. Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade, you’ll want more. This Florida Main Street Community shelters restaurants and bars, galleries, studios and eclectic shops within its history- and pedestrian-happy corridor.
Stroll Central Avenue day or night to get a feel – and note that several Grand Central businesses play host to Pride Month events beyond the Festival and Promenade. Past gatherings have included Pride Night at Beak's Old Florida tavern, art parties at ARTpool Gallery and film nights at the Queenshead Euro Bar and Restaurant.
For more information, visit www.stpetepride.com.