As Palm Beach County steadily approaches it's 21st annual PrideFest weekend, local residents prepare for this year's decorative theme of “Fanta-Sea” to represent the city’s close proximity and relationship with the beach. The event be held at Bryant Park Saturday March 29 and 30 in Lake Worth from noon to 6 p.m.
“The festival exemplifies the strength and growth in the gay and lesbian community” said Jimmy Zoellner, director of development and event coordinator for compass.
This year’s festival will provide a variety of live musical entertainment for all ages, including a Saturday afternoon performance by four time Billboard Award Winner Crystal Waters known for her famous 90s dance hits and 91 smash success “Gypsy Woman.”
Saturday performances also include the young and talented powerhouse singer Michaela Paige along with Teri Catlin and the rising stars from Compass’ Youth Group, Allied Nations. Sunday’s stage features Miami native, Karina Iglesias, the runner up of last season’s “The Voice.”
Sunday will also feature Grammy Showcase Finalists, The Kinected and local young rap artist, Jemiini. The rest of the weekend will include musical performances by live singers Rychy Neil, Dayja La Dama and Lacey along with local celebrities Melissa St. John and Ricky Rollick who have been entertaining Florida crowds for over 20 years.
More than 140 local business vendors will be setting up shop with jewelry, art and specialty items along with the finest selection of dishes from local restaurants. Many noted non-profit organizations including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation will be providing testing services free of cost. The festival, which began in 1992 was originally held at the Armory Arms Center in West Palm beach. The event started as a small gathering and has grown to be the largest visible LBGT festival in Palm Beach County with more than 15,000 thousand attendees each year.
This pet friendly two-day event held by Compass, the largest LGBT community center in Florida and the Southeast United States, will be celebrating 26 years of providing community centered services to Palm Beach County.
Compass' mission statement “aims to diminish stereotypes by challenging long-standing misconceptions about the character of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community” More than 25,000 individuals utilize Compass' 14,000 square foot facility, services which include healthcare management, both social and support groups along with youth services.
The annual parade will begin Sunday in downtown Lake Worth at Lucerne and & M street at 11:30 a.m. Earlier this month, as part of a PrideFest tradition dating back to 2000, the Lake Worth City Commission read an inclusive proclamation, the mayor of Lake Worth, Pam Triolo, raised the gay pride flag with Compass' Chief Executive Officer, Tony Plakas, at Lake Worth's City Hall. The symbolic gesture emphasizing the growth, acceptance and diversity in the community while highlighting the importance each individual contributes to the community and society as a whole.
Well's Fargo will be providing it's historic Stagecoach, which has appeared in many of the largest pride festivals around the nation.
This year's PrideFest Grand Marshal will be West Palm Beach mayor Jeri Muoio and Lake Worth mayor Triolo.
Advanced tickets can be purchased for $6 at Compass, Roosters, The MadHatter Lounge, Studio 205 and Penny's at the Duke. Tickets will be $8 at the gate. Guests are encouraged to buy advance tickets to avoid the line.