Surely the only thing better than celebrating Gay Pride is ringing it on the beach? Well, luckily, Fort Lauderdale Pride allows you to do both! Fort Lauderdale Pride is the oldest Pride celebration in the state of Florida. It was born in 1977 from protests following a successful public referendum overturning a landmark gay civil rights ordinance in Miami-Dade County. The hateful and discriminatory campaign leading to this had been led by entertainer and evangelical activist Anita Bryant.
Over the years, Pride South Florida, now known as Pride Fort Lauderdale, has taken many different forms, from protests and parades to lively parties and beach festivals. The name and location of Fort Lauderdale Pride may have varied; however, the core value has remained untouched: to promote and maintain Pride in Fort Lauderdale and support organizations and businesses that nurture the local LGBTQ community.
Fort Lauderdale Pride has gotten into its groove, becoming South Florida's largest Pride Parade. In 2017, Pride Fort Lauderdale celebrated its 40th anniversary on Fort Lauderdale Beach, attracting more than 40,000 people for the festivities. Now, more than 120,000 people attend Fort Lauderdale Pride to take part in the annual celebrations. Usually, you can expect plenty of entertainment from a beach party, a block party, cultural events, and an incredible pride parade along the beachfront.
Fort Lauderdale remains a gay hotspot for gay and lesbian travelers year-round. After all, it is estimated that Fort Lauderdale welcomes 1.5 million LGBTQ visitors annually, who spend roughly $1.5 billion. Fort Lauderdale is a premier tourist destination and a diverse and welcoming community with one of the largest concentrations of LGBTQ+ households in the nation and a lively LGBTQ scene, which is kept afloat by hundreds of gay-owned and operated businesses.
In 2023, Pride Fort Lauderdale expands to become the first Pride of the Americas festival on sunny Fort Lauderdale Beach. Most events of this inaugural Pride of the Americas will be held on or near Greater Fort Lauderdale's pristine beaches and signature waterways. The event will culminate with a parade down scenic GAY1A (Route A1A) along the beach, followed by a massive beach party featuring internationally recognized performers.
The inaugural Pride of the Americas is expected to attract guests from North, Central, and South America, as well as the Caribbean,
Pride Fort Lauderdale is a non-profit organization that has been serving the LGBTQ+ community for over 45 years. Pride Fort Lauderdale's mission is to bring awareness and unite the LGBTQ+ community through its annual Pride Festival and Parade.
For full details on the Pride of the Americas 2023 in Fort Lauderdale and all previous editions, be sure to check out the official event program. Happy Pride!
Photos © Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau