In the wake of last week’s Pulse Nightclub shooting, St. Pete Pride will be adding security, but the event will go on. Instead of backing down, staying home, or being afraid of the unknown, Pride officials have decided to stand in unity with Orlando celebrating the LGBT community. This sentiment is no better echoed than by executive director of St. Pete Pride himself, Eric Skains, in his statement on the Orlando shooting. He says:
“No single act of hate can detour us from coming together as a community. Pride and unity is more important now than ever before. From the Stonewall Inn in New York and the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans to the now Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, acts of violence at LGBTQ+ welcoming establishments has been part of our dark history. Each time our community has come together and silenced the voices of hate.”
The LGBT Community Will Stand #Orlandostrong at St. Pete Pride
St. Pete Police advise Pride attendees to be vigilant and “if you see something, say something.” The police department has a tip line where attendees can easily send information if something doesn’t seem right. Simply type SPPD and text your tip to Tip411. The police department has informed citizens that heightened security will be in place. They have declined to release detailed information surrounding added security measures because “if the residents know, the bad guys will too.”
Despite the tragic events occuring at Pulse, St. Pete Pride will continue as planned. Indeed, the best way to honor those who lost their lives, those who were injured in the attack, the families and friends of those involved, and the entire LGBT community is to go forward and continue to celebrate pride and love.
What you need to know about St. Pete Pride 2016
St. Pete Pride is the largest gay pride celebration in the state of Florida. On Friday, St. Pete Pride will kick off with with a concert from 7:00 PM - 11:00 p.m. with DJ L-Mo, Jennifer Real, Deborah Cox and more. Grab a $20 pit pass to get up close and personal, otherwise this event is FREE..
Burn some calories before the festival at the St. Pete Pride Run. This 5K runs through Gulfport and includes a finish line party with beer, live entertainment and music. Cost is $25, Register at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom , Race begins at 7:30 and closes at 11 a.m.
On Saturday, 6/25/2016, the eyes of the nation will turn to Saint Petersburg for the much anticipated St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade. Festivities begin at 5:00 PM and go till 11:00 pm. The parade will be a time for the community to come together, pay tribute to Orlando, and stand in unity with Grand Marshal's Miguel Fuller from Hot 101.5, Kathy Castor, 14th congressional district, Attorney Annie Hiotis, activist Lucas Wehle and the Tampa Bay International Film and Arts Festival. The block party takes place on Central Avenue between 22nd and 27th St. with food, music and libations. The parade marches on at 8:30 p.m. This event is Free. VIP ticketing is available between $40.00 and $1,500.00 for “glamstand” seating.
In and about town you will find American Idol contestants Blake Lewis and Elliott Yamin performing at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Flamingo Resort, tickets are $15 and up to catch their sets.
Pride weekend wraps up Sunday at the Pride Festival, kicking off at 11 a.m., the fest runs through 6 p.m. on Central and 22nd St. to 28th St. where you will encounter 350 vendors, the stage area, art displays, food and a wellness pavilion. This event is also free to attend.
From 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Cider Press Cafe will host the Big Pride Brunch: Order what you like from the menu at this tasty brunch before heading out to the festival. Grab one of their famed Bloody Marias and indulge!
On behalf of 727area.com, we would like to express our deepest sadness but greatest support to Orlando, the LGBT community, and all those who will be attending St. Pete Pride. Please be aware of your surroundings and leave all weapons at home. Please have a fantastic time celebrating LGBT pride. Please carry the Pulse victims in your hearts, thoughts, and prayers throughout St. Pete Pride weekend.
In the words of late gay activist Harvey Milk, “Hope will never be silent.” And neither should we in the face of hate! If you have never been, we encourage you to attend as Tampa Bay and the LGBT community stands #Orlandostrong at St. Pete Pride.
This post was written by 727area.com contributor Victoria Yore. She can also be found on her personal blog Follow Me Away