This year's Miami Beach Pride celebration was marked by perfect sunshine weather, and rainbows in the forms of flags in a sea of thousands of LGBT South Florida locals, out-of-towners and community allies.
"I actually moved back to Miami from Orlando today, and the Pride is the best welcome back to this city. I love the energy that comes from the LGBT community here in Miami. It can't be replicated," said Johnathan Navedo, 24.
Fort Lauderdale resident Janae Sweet, 23, was at the event with friends.
"It's a really just a day to get together with friends, have some drinks, have some laughs and just be part of this community," she said.
Pride Week began on Monday, April 3, with the rainbow flag raising ceremony at City Hall in Miami Beach, followed by the Miss Miami Beach Pride Pageant and silent auction. The new title for Miss Miami Beach Gay Pride transitioned from last year's winner Kalah Mendoza to this year's winner Joanna James.
One key event was every evening from Thursday through Sunday in which "Pride Lights the Night" paid tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. Buildings throughout the area lit up in the colors of the rainbow flag.
The festival was host to a beach party, DJs, exhibitors, community booths and more. Signage included promotion of Madrid Pride, which takes place June 24 through July 2.
Of course, on the beach boardwalk shirtless gay men and bikini-topped women were commonly found. The beach itself was packed as well with those who wanted to really take advantage of the sun and sand.
On the actual day of the parade, the streets were lined with twinks, bears, muscle guys, drag queens, androgyny, flamboyance; as well as lesbians and members of the trans community — all of which were diverse in race, ethnicity and age.
The parade started on 5th Street and Ocean Drive and traveled north to 15th Street. There were 70-plus parade floats, convertibles, marchers and motorcycles. Palace Bar, and others, were packed tightly with thirsty patrons.
Friendly and flamboyant media personality Ross Mathews was the parade's grand marshal.
"We love this city. We love the people. And, I love our community," Mathews said in a retweeted video Celebrity Cruises, a sponsor of Miami Beach Pride, posted on its Twitter page from April 7. On the day of the parade, Mathews tweeted, "Extra proud today!"
Established by former Miami Beach Mayor, Matti Bower, as an initiative of the Miami Beach Gay Business Development Council, Miami Beach Gay Pride is a not-for-profit organization that produces free, safe, quality mass-appeal events that are open to all, and that include the Parade, Festival, Expo, and adjunct, officially sanctioned Miami Beach Gay Pride events.