This year’s Pride Fort Lauderdale could draw as many as 60,000 attendees, an increase over last year’s estimated crowd of 40,000.
Pride Fort Lauderdale President Miik Martorell promised plenty to enjoy once attendees arrive, but he’s also pledged an improvement to how they get to the free event – Sunday, Feb. 11 from 12 to 8 p.m. at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd.
“We have almost four times the amount of free shuttles, sponsored by Sprint,” said Martorell. Last year, there were three. This year, there are 10. He’s not sure exactly how many people will show up but “at any given time last year, there were literally thousands of people at any given moment. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
In response to comments on Facebook from people complaining about last year’s transportation problems, Pride Fort Lauderdale organizers have promised a much better experience getting to the event. “We didn’t expect as many people as we got,” Martorell said.
The number of parking lots to take the shuttles from has also increased. In addition to the ones provided last year, the new Brightline station garage at Broward Boulevard and Andrews Avenue will also serve as a shuttle destination, making it easier for people in Palm Beach to attend.
The free parking lots are: Hagen Park, 2020 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors; Galleria Mall, 2414 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; E. Clay Shaw parking lot, 2150 SE 17 St., Fort Lauderdale. Parking is also available in the lot at the event but is not free. The shuttles run from the free lots to Pride from 12 to 6 p.m. The last shuttle leaves Pride at 8:30 p.m. “This is the first beach event Brightline is partnering with. We’re going to be the official test of it,” Martorell said.
On those shuttles for the first three hours will be local drag queens to “make it a little more fun, get it noticed,” Martorell said. Sun Trolley and Water Taxi were also touted by Martorell as means of getting to the event.
When attendees do arrive, they’ll find over 150 vendors, a food court, water slide, kids arts and crafts area, bars, and special areas for seniors and the transgender community – South Florida’s first Trans Pride.
Visit PrideFortLauderdale.org for more information.