Known for its stunning beaches, wonderful environment, and warm weather, Florida is home to some of the largest Pride events in the whole of the United States. Thousands of people travel to the Sunshine State each year to discover the LGBTQ Pride events in the state and to celebrate acceptance and inclusivity. Lots of cities, from Orlando to Miami, host spectacular Pride events that help empower and advocate for the LGBTQ community. In this article, we will discuss the history of Pride in Florida and the largest Pride events held in the state.
History of Pride in Florida
The Pride movement in Florida began in the seventies, with the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969 being the catalyst for it. Around one thousand people attended the first ever Pride parade in the state, which was held in Miami. The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida, then known as the Gay Task Force, were the group that organized this historic event.
Over the course of the years that proceeded this, more Pride events were being held in Florida, in cities like Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa. LGBTQ residents and supporters in Florida were able to come together to advocate for LGBTQ equal rights and encourage more people to be true to themselves.
Fast forward to today, and the state plays host to come of the largest and most vibrant Pride events in the U.S. These include St. Pete Pride and Miami Beach Pride. The good folk at OutCoast say these events allow people to recognize and honor those who came before them that fought for equality and acceptance to allow future generations to live freely.
Largest Pride Events in Florida
Now that we have discussed the brief history of Pride in Florida, let us take a look at the largest events that are held each year.
Miami Beach Pride
Miami Beach Pride is held every year to show support for the LGBTQ community all over the world. Having been set up in 2009 as a small community celebration, this event has grown massively to be one of the largest Pride events in Florida. It takes place over the course of several days with dance parties, drag shows, live music, and many other activities being held at the event. A huge parade and festival end the festivities, and it features vibrant costumes and floats.
St. Pete Pride
Hosted in St. Petersburg, this pride event has been held every year to celebrate the LGBTQ community, having inaugurated in 2003. Like the Miami Beach Pride, St. Pete Pride takes place over a few days with many activities available including art exhibits, musical performances, and drag shows. There are plenty of food vendors for spectators to grab a bite to eat while enjoying the festivities. Over 150 marching groups are featured in the festival, which is easily the highlight of the event. This celebration attracts people from all over the country to stand with their LGBTQ loved ones and honor how far the community has come in the fight for equal rights.
To conclude, Florida is home to several the largest Pride events in the U.S., including Miami Beach Pride and St. Pete Pride. These celebrations attract crowds of thousands of people and offers much entertainment, including live music performances and drag shows. Both festivities end with a spectacular parade that features bright and bold floats and extravagant costumes. These events are a fun and exciting way for people to show their support to the LGBTQ community in the United States and continue to push further for equality and inclusivity.