Call it what it is — a week of dance parties for gay men.
Winter Party, a National LGBTQ Task Force sanctioned event, returns to Miami from Feb. 28 to March 6. This year is the 25th edition of Winter Party, which attracts a global audience.
“Celebrating a quarter of a century of with one of the most important events in the world is extremely exciting,” said Micky Friedmann. “What can be more rewarding than giving back to our community with what I love most – music!”
Friedmann is deejaying the Forever Adventure dance party March 4. Party goers will hunt for treasure inside the James L. Knight Center from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. It is one of 14 sanctioned Winter Party events this year. Winter Party is produced by the National LGBTQ Task Force and money raised is given to the Miami Foundation and returned to local organizations.
“Winter Party Festival knows what it means to ‘party with a purpose,’ said DJ Grind. “I’m so proud to be part of such a positive, celebratory event that gives back to our community.”
Grind is deejaying the March 4th beach party at Lummus Park in South Beach. The Sunday afternoon affair is what organizers insist birthed what is now one of the most recognizable gay circuit parties. Advertisements depict throngs of shirtless, physically fit men dancing to electronic beats.
“It’s hard to describe the magic of dancing on the sands of South Beach with your chosen family and thousands of new friends from all over the world!,” reads an event description on the Winter Party website. "It's an experience you will have to see to believe and one you will never forget. Grab your sunscreen, your favorite speedo and we’ll see you there!”
DJ Rosabell (deejays Ralphi Rosario and Abel) join DJ Grind behind the mix board.
“What an honor to return to the beach party to serve up music to the masses!” Rosabell said.
In a news release, Winter Party events director Michael Bath said love is what makes Winter Party stand out among the other gay events hosted in Miami Beach.
“It is a labor of love for the staff and consultants involved, and especially for the dozens of volunteers who have sustained it and allowed it to flourish over the years,” Bath said. “And all of that culminates in an atmosphere of love among the guests who attend our events.”
The action kicks off with a Thursday “Tea Dance” (March 1 from 2 to 8 p.m.) at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, 1717 Collins Avenue. Miami Beach drag queen Tiffany Fantasia is expected to attend the free, poolside dance. Fantasia was recently in the news over a false arrest on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in what the female impersonator said was a case of mistaken identity.
The Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is Winter Party’s host hotel this year, but if you intend to stay there, plan on bringing a black or gold credit card. The cutoff date has passed and the Task Force’s block of rooms are full. The nightly rate for a standard room during the March 2-4 weekend is $609. The Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel is a three-floor, 186-room hotel. It is not listed on the National Historic Hotels Registry.