Palm Beach Pride is making a huge return after it took a break due to COVID-19 concerns.
The staff at Compass Community Center have worked tirelessly to bring this event back, but because the world has been on lockdown for a year, Pride is being brought to you in a different way with a new concept.
The Open Air Market will be held June 5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at John Bryant Park. Vendors will be socially distanced from each other, and the emphasis is on shopping versus socialization. Attendees must wear masks and are encouraged to shop quickly.
"This will be the first LGBTQ in-person event we have hosted since last March, and our community is very excited to have something to look forward to,” said Julia Murphy, Compass’ chief development officer. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with the City of Lake Worth Beach to produce the Palm Beach Pride Market. It is going to be a reunion of our friends and chosen families.”
Compass is pulling out all the stops to make sure this is a memorable event for Palm Beach County. Attendees can expect to see some of their familiar Pride vendors, in addition to several new ones. There will be 75 in total.
The vendors will be on hand to offer quality products, prepared foods, arts, plants, animal treats, handicrafts and so much more. In the mood for brunch while you shop? There will be rose, mimosas, and coffee for purchase, along with many other delicious foods available for you to purchase.
This will be a safe family-friendly event. Barky Pines Animal Rescue will be onsite with animals for you to adopt. Pride Market will also feature a Kids’ Zone, and just like years in the past, Compass’s Youth Department staff and their newly launched Transgender Economic Empowerment Program staff will manage the Kids’ Zone. They will be there in collaboration with Macy’s Fashion Truck and Starbucks.
Pride is nothing without music, so there will be a DJ on stage entertaining the crowd and providing the perfect soundtrack to your shopping experience. Compass has also called upon a few good drag queens to help with hosting duties. Melissa St. John, RaeJean Cox, Rianna Petrone and Velvet Lenore will host the festivities. If you know anything about Velvet and Rianna, you can expect to see glamour, sequins, big hair, and maybe a cartwheel.
There will be no parade this year.
Palm Tran will be getting in on the Pride action as well. Their rainbow-wrapped Pride Bus will be circulating throughout Palm Beach County for the entire month in honor of Pride.
“The biggest challenge in planning this year’s Pride Market was the fact that our planning started in January,” said Murphy. “While we were planning a safe experience for all, South Florida looked very differently in January as the county’s positivity rates were still hovering between 9-11% and the vaccine rollout was still a bit of a hot mess back then.”
She feels confident about the Pride Market returning to Bryant Park in June because of the extra precautions and COVID protocols that have been put in place.
“Working with the City of Lake Worth Beach has been beneficial in that we are utilizing more space in the park than ever before,” she said. “People are ready to attend events and celebrate Pride again and we are filled with hope as more folx are getting vaccinated, re-connecting with others and living life again.”
Hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the market.
For more information on how to attend Palm Beach Pride, visit compassglcc.com.