This small town festival continues to grow

On Saturday, Oct. 24, you are invited to come out as you are to Gainesville’s PRIDE Parade. The parade begins at noon at 7th Street and West University Avenue. Floats will begin at the intersection of 7th St and W University Ave and proceed east on University Ave to S 1st St.

At 1 p.m. once the parade ends, the Pride Festival begins and runs until 9 p.m. It will feature dozens of local musical acts, including Flash Silvermoon and Q the Sound and over one hundred vendors. It is free and open to the public.

“The Gainesville Pride Festival is different than any other Pride event you’ll attend. Imagine a hometown non-sponsored, non-corporate feel with more than five thousand resident and out-of-town visitors in attendance having a great time in a relaxed setting,” says Helen James Storey of the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida. “Clearly, this is an event people can’t help but gravitate towards.”

The origins of today’s Pride celebrations are generally credited to the Stonewall Rebellion of June 28, 1969. While June is considered “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month” and President Obama declared June “LGBT Pride Month” it’s important to remember this is Florida and in June the weather is sweltering.

The Gainesville Pride Festival was moved to October in 2000 to encourage students at UF to participate and to accommodate the better weather in the fall. Since the festival was moved, it has increased in size every year and in 2014 over five thousand people participated in the festival.

The next day, on Sunday, Oct. 25, Pride Sunday takes place. The United Church of Gainesville (1624 NW 5th Ave) will hold its annual Gay Pride Sunday Services at 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

Pride Message “Queering The Witness” The Rev. Dr. Shelly Wilson, Senior Minister – Special Seminar at 10:45 a.m. “Sex & Gender: Beyond Binary, A Discussion Of Current Scientific Thinking” Georg Vollweiler, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, Santa Fe College – Brunch to follow in the Reimer Fellowship Hall at 12:15pm.

At 10:30 a.m., the second annual Gainesville Pride Brunch will be held at Emiliano’s Café. Co-hosted by Gainesville Community Alliance and PCCNCF. $23.50 per person (includes tax and gratuity). Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance by Oct. 20 – available from GCA and PCCNCF.