For two decades, Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade puts on a celebration that attracts people from around the world.
But this year is the 50thanniversary of the Stonewall riots, and the 20thanniversary of Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride, and organizers are turning up the heat with entertainers, events, an over-the-top parade, and much more.
“This year we added a Black Pride stage, Latinx Pride, and many other areas aimed at including a wider audience,” said Jermaine Clayton, vice president of operations for Wilton Manors Entertainment Group. “We just want everyone to feel included. There’s something for everybody.”
Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride is designed as a time to remember the past, celebrate the present, and commit to the future. The Stonewall riots are among the past events to commemorate this year. The riots were 50 years ago this month and sparked a pivotal moment in history. It was a flashpoint igniting the modern gay rights movement. What began as an unannounced police raid became a resistance of oppression on June 28, 1969.
Three images from those six days of revolution are displayed on six window panels at Wilton Manors City Hall for the remainder of June. This display serves as a reminder of the struggles of the previous two generations. Those who sacrificed years earlier fought for the freedoms many young LGBT people now experience. It’s crucial to remember that Pride isn’t only about partying. It’s about honoring those who fought for equal rights and making sure we continue to make strides in the future.
There will be several other signs of Pride around Wilton Manors throughout the month. Gay pride is synonymous with the colors from the Pride Flag. Those vibrant hues of colorful ribbons will also be on display in the City Hall lobby.
The ribbons represent every unique individual exemplified by the varying colors, sizes, and lengths, embracing that all people bring their own uniqueness, differences, diversity, and personality. This installation is made up of about six miles of ribbons to create this unique work.
“Hopefully, people will pause to consider the variety and differences of colors and shape and the uniqueness of all humans it represents,” said Wilton Art’s Matthew Gil.
The activities pick up on Wednesday, June 12 with Out Social hosted by SFGN. It takes place at the Richardson House at 1937 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors.
On Friday, June 14, it’s the second annual “Our Night Out” Party. This kick-off celebration features Todrick Hall, over-the-top musical performances, celebrity entertainers, and show stopping musical performances. The extravaganza starts at 7 p.m. at the Crystal Ballroom at the Manor.
General admission tickets are $20; VIP tickets are $80. The Wilton Drive Art Walk also takes place on Friday — artists and crafters will line the drive.
The main attraction of Pride is June 15 from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m., with the Parade kicking off at 4 p.m. There is a $5 admission, payable at the entry gate or you can pre-pay online. This admission helps to cover the cost of security for the event.
“This year many entrances to Wilton Drive will be closed off to help direct traffic and increase security,” Clayton said. “We know that people are on edge after the Pulse massacre. We have private security in addition to Wilton Manors police.”
A pre-pay entrance bracelet includes a free frozen drink (must be 21 or over for an Absolut frozen drink).
“The main complaint we get is about the heat,” Clayton said. “This year, we will set up additional water stations, where people can fill up and cool off. We want to make sure everyone stays hydrated. People can also go into any bars on the drive to cool down. We also added our VIP area back; it’s an air-conditioned area with designated seating.”
Here’s more information on the six stages and entertainment provided by the bars and restaurants of Wilton Drive:
COMPANY B Live
DJ / Producer
Hosted by Shawn Palacious & Gigi 93.9
Hunter Wilton Manors STAGE:
with After Party following
Various live instrumentalists & vocalists
Rumors Bar & Grill STAGE:
BLACK PRIDE STAGE:
Nikki Blaq Live
Brent Love Live
Hosted by MC Nic Nac
There will also be free HIV testing along Wilton Drive. For more information on Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride, visit http://wiltonmanorsstonewall.com/.