Leaders Have Traveled the Country, Volunteering at 19 Pride Events, Studying Best Practices, Building Relationships
FORT LAUDERDALE – Pride Fort Lauderdale will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a new format and venue: a massive one-day beach party on Sunday, Feb. 26 on iconic Fort Lauderdale Beach.
The one-day main event at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, site of the famed Tortuga Music Festival, will include performances by nationally-recognized talent. Affiliated events are also being planned for the larger LGBT community, including women, families, transgender men and women, seniors, sports enthusiasts and people in recovery.
Admission to the main event will be FREE and proceeds will fund scholarships for LGBT youth and grants to local community organizations.
“Our goal is to present a world class festival that will not only appeal to local residents, but become a destination for LGBT people from around the world,” president Miik Martorell said, explaining the decision to move the location and date to the region’s peak tourist season.
“We think this is a fitting way to celebrate 40 years of Pride here in Fort Lauderdale, now the city with the highest percentage of LGBT households and one of the most popular destinations for gay and lesbian travelers.”
After hosting a major regional meeting of Pride organizers in April, Martorell and many of the volunteer board members have been traveling to and volunteering at Pride festivals across the country–at their own expense–to study best practices and further develop relationships.
Since June, they have participated in more than a dozen Pride festivals including New York City, Baltimore, San Francisco, San Diego and Dallas, as well as smaller communities such as Roanoke, Va., which has also “reinvented” itself over the past year. In coming months, they will travel to Atlanta, Las Vegas and Palm Springs.
“We’ve learned a lot,” he said. “Words cannot express the thrill that came with volunteering at New York Pride, where 1.5 million people came together for a day, and at events in small cities where Pride is that one day each year when residents can come out and celebrate their sexual orientation and gender identity. These trips also offered an opportunity to promote our own event with Pride organizers across the country.”
Visitors have the opportunity to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to Pride Fort Lauderdale by visiting Facebook.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Herradura Tequila are major partners for the 2017 festival. the festival is also supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, W Fort Lauderdale hotel and Greater Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and Hot Flyers.
Additional sponsors, events and performing artists will be announced at PrideFortLauderdale.org.