n President Donald Trump’s back yard, Mar-a-Lago, hosting Palm Beach Pride is just as important as ever, said Julia Murphy, chief development officer for Compass Community Center.

“This sends a message. Absolutely,” Murphy said. “Regardless of what’s going on, we have a high amount of support.”

Organized by Compass, the two-day festival will be held Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. at Bryant Park in Lake Worth.

Trump has supported various measures decried by LGBT advocates, including support of the
“Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” which allows healthcare workers to deny medical treatment to LGBT patients because of religious or moral beliefs.

“This year’s theme is Rainbow Resistance. We can’t be at the [March for Our Lives gun control protest in D.C.] on March 24, but we’ll march in solidarity on March 25 [during the parade],” Murphy said.

But even with Trump in the White House, Murphy said local authorities matter more.

“What matters the most is your local politics and what happens to you on an everyday level.” Murphy said the LGBT community here is lucky to have strong allies, such as the Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Office and the City of Lake Worth.

“We welcome everyone. I think our community is stronger together . . . That’s not everywhere though. In some places, they have to fight to get something like this,” Murphy said. According to various news outlets, a permit for an LGBT parade in Starkville, Mississippi was initially denied. Earlier this month, the decision was reversed after organizers threatened a lawsuit.

Palm Beach Pride’s parade will start at 11:30 a.m. on March 25 at Lucerne Avenue and Lake Avenue.

Murphy said 100 groups have already signed-up to be in the parade, and she estimates the final number could be about 150.

As for the rest of the event, about 25,000 people are expected to attend both days.
Headlining this year’s festival is CeCe Peniston, the dance club artist famous for her 1991 hit “Finally.”

The cost is $8 in advance and $10 at the entrance. Murphy said Palm Beach Pride charges an entry fee because it incurs a lot of expenses, including paid staff workers. “We close down the roads and we have to pay for the park. Typically, pride events are volunteer-based. Compass is a local non-profit. So, in order to produce [the event], we have to charge. We’re not the biggest pride but we definitely represent the community in the best way we can.”

Visit compassglcc.com/community-and-events/palm-beach-pride for more information.