Communities reconnecting, drag queens on stage, and a mimosa tent to keep spirits raised.
Pride in Palm Beach County was scaled back, but after a year away people didn’t care about the when, where, and what as long as it happened. Normally a two-day party with a parade, this year the event was a “farmers market” style event from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, June 5 at Bryant Park in Lake Worth.
Hundreds of people came out to celebrate being together along the Intracoastal. It was a sunny and hot day, but a light breeze and shade from the park’s trees helped keep people cool as they roamed the rows of tents. Hosted by Compass Community Center, more than 90 local organizations and businesses showed up to remind everyone that despite the pandemic the LGBT community remains strong. “It was great to see the community come out and support Palm Beach Pride Market,” RaeJean Cox told SFGN. “The attendees were out in full Pride regalia from the adults to teens and even the little kids and fur babies!”
RaeJean was joined by Melissa St. John, Velvet Lenore, and Rianna Petrone as Masters of Ceremonies on the main stage. Along with a DJ they kept the energy up and the party going making it feel more like an evening party than a morning event.
For RaeJean it was a much-needed moment. “This amazing day gave us a sense of normalcy from the past 15 months of the pandemic. I feel our community needed a day like this and it was felt throughout the park. As an emcee of the event the love was felt all day!”
Vendors included everything from community and service organizations to area businesses.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office had a tent, along with Temple Bethel and the Rusty Gordon LGBT Democratic Caucus of Palm Beach County. Businesses were selling everything from jewelry and skincare to fun Pride T-shirts to rainbow-colored gear for your pets.
As Pride Market ended, After Pride parties began. Around 12:30 p.m. people started walking over to Lilo’s Streetfood & Bar and quickly filled the booths, tables, and bar. Elsewhere at the Mad Hatter Lounge and Penny’s at the Duke people poured in for music, games, togetherness, and flights of pride-colored shots.
While the celebration is over, the spirit of Pride lives on in Palm Beach County. A Palm Tran bus is sporting a “Ride With Pride” wrap featuring the Progress Pride flag. In Boynton Beach and Delray Beach intersections are painted in the Pride colors.