A threat of violence was made against Pride On the Block, a Pride event in Palm Beach County last weekend.
Just hours before the event, police were alerted to a credible, very detailed threat of an attack on the area in West Palm Beach. A man in Canada has been arrested and could be brought to Florida to face charges.
Now, people are looking ahead to the Stonewall Pride Parade & Street Festival on June 18 in Wilton Manors. SFGN talked with Wilton Manors Police Chief Gary Blocker, who said there are no current threats against the festival.
Planning for the event’s security has been underway since January, but the price will be about 80% more than last year’s event.
“Public safety comes at a cost,” Blocker said. “When you have 40,000 people in an event area, you want to have resources immediately available.”
This comes at a time when costs for the festival are under scrutiny. The cost of security wasn’t presented until just three weeks before the festival. While organizers were told to expect an increase, they were blindsided by how much more this year will be. Wilton Manors City Commissioner Chris Caputo opined in the Wilton Manors Gazette that the way the cost is calculated needs to be more transparent, and the timing needs to be better.
Pride On Edge
This all comes as America faces more and more mass shootings. Ten were reported over the weekend, and the elementary shooting in Texas and the supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York, are especially front of mind. We are also nearing the sixth anniversary of the Pulse massacre in Orlando. People who attend Pride events are well aware of this.
When you add in the deadly accident in the parade staging area at last year’s Stonewall, making people feel safe gets harder and more expensive. Insurance costs increased due to increased risk.