Florida's celebrates the largest Pride festival of the year, the 12th annual St Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade, which takes place June 27-29.
This year’s theme, “Global Equality” was chosen by the community through an interactive Facebook poll. Pride Executive Director Eric Skains says “I feel this is a great theme for 2014. Pride is a movement that goes beyond our own boundaries, it's a global cause of liberation, commemoration, and celebration of the LGBT community.”
Organizers expect over 175,000 people to attend the weekend festivities, which will feature performances by Grammy Nominated Settle song writer Mary Lambert. Lambert — whose vocals are featured on the gay-rights anthem “Same Love” with hip hop superstar Macklemore — have made her a household name among gay rights advocates as well as a crucial leader in dispelling negative misconceptions to LGBT youth.
Below is a round up of the events taking place.
Happy Hour will be greeting guests at The LGBT Welcome Center at 5 p.m. at 2235 Central Ave.
A Stonewall Welcome Reception will be held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg from 7-9 p.m. A causal/cocktail attire event that started for friends who enjoyed the arts has become the most attended reception during the week of Pride. The event, sponsored by the MFA, will feature an open bar and appetizers. Tickets will not be sold at the door and must be purchased in advance for $35 at www.showclix.com)
Friday night holds an incredible night of live entertainment while also taking the opportunity to take an active stance in supporting the community. The State Theater located on Central Avenue will be holding the “27/82,” a fundraising concert to assist Tampa Bay community organizations followed by an after party at Georgie’s Alibi.
Singer songwriter Mary Lambert will take the stage at 7 p.m. Grammy nominated Lambert has sold over 2 million copies of hit song “Same Love” in the U.S. Alone, she has recently released a new single titled “She keeps me warm” which debuted at number 2 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.
Canadian alternative all girl band Hunter Valentine will be rocking out the show as the opening act. The Real L Word stars have put down roots in Brooklyn and have grown an international fan base touring over 200 dates a year.
The event will all feature local artist Connor Zwetsch, a twenty-one year old singer and songwriter from Tampa. Zwetsch, inspired by 90s pop rock and an acoustic style sound, has a captivating stage performance.
Former Motown Records and international Grammy nominated diva Vernessa Mitchell, hits the stage Friday night preaching the word of love and light. Vernessa gained popularity for dances remixes of hit songs like “Accept me!” and “Rise.” As an ordained evangelist, she has traveled extensively across the world bringing two worlds, often divided, together on the dance floor for a fun filled night of Gospel music.
On Saturday, St. Petersburg Pride Parade returns in fashion, being only one of five in the nation to hold it's annual Parade at nighttime. The block party kicks off at 5 p.m. in the heart of the gay nexus, the historic Kenwood Neighborhood and Grand Central District.
This year grand marshals include Darden Rice, the first openly gay female to run for office in St. Petersburg and Resource Development Manger for AIDS Service Association of Pinellas, Jay Aller.
More than 150 Parade entries will be floating down Central Ave, so make sure to arrive early as bleacher seating is limited.
Sunday St. Pete Pride Festival Street Fair will begin at 11 a.m. with free admission. More than 300 exhibitors will be present, with multiple stages and a wide variety of musical performers.
For more information visit StPetePride.com or Pride's official Facebook page at Facebook.com/StPetePride.