FORTitude Weekend Comes to Lauderdale
The White Party and Winter Party in Miami have long been stops on the circuit and this weekend, Fort Lauderdale joins the party with FORTitude, a five-day festival that is expected to attract thousands of winter-weary visitors.
In addition to signature men’s and women’s dance parties, organizers are offering film screenings, comedy and musical performances for the inaugural weekend, which benefits amfAR, the Pride Center and Miami and Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals.
The Pride Center at 2040 N. Dixie Hwy. in Wilton Manors is serving as the Welcome Center for the festivities and tickets are on sale all week between 12 noon and 8 p.m. or online at FortitudeWeekend.com. VIP weekend passes are available for $275-$499. Individual event tickets range from $10-$99.
FORTitude events include:
Thursday, Feb. 17
Kick off the weekend with the Florida premiere of the award-winning documentary “Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride” at Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6th St. in Fort Lauderdale. Stick around for a cocktail reception following the screening. Tickets are $10.
Friday, Feb. 18
Start the evening at the penthouse of the B Ocean hotel on the corner of Sunrise Blvd. and A1A for a sunset cocktail party from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Enjoy the stunning views and sip cocktails to the music of local celebrity performers. VIP tickets are $75.
Afterwards, the ladies will be heading to New Moon, 2440 Wilton Dr. in Wilton Manors, for a hot after-party while the men can be found at the Mandance at Ramrod, South Florida’s leather, Levi and uniform bar, 1508 NE 4th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. DJ Herbie James will be spinning for the first men’s dance event of the weekend.
Saturday, Feb. 19
Fun in the sun is the theme for Saturday’s afternoon pool party at Exit 66, 219 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. The party gets started at 11 a.m. and runs to 4:30 p.m. DJ DeMarko! will be providing the beat and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Later, head to the Parker Playhouse, 707 NE 8th St. in Fort Lauderdale, for some laughs as comedians Alec Mapa, Julie Goldman and Judy Gold dish out their funniest material. And, don’t miss the hilarious Joe Posa as Joan Rivers, too. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $40.
Afterwards, the women move the party back to New Moon in Wilton Manors while the men return to Exit 66 to dance the night away to the sounds of DJs Escape and Roland Belmares. The women’s party is free and tickets to the men’s dance are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Sunday, Feb. 20
The women take to the pool today at Exit 66 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission or for $35 you get free drinks and other VIP perks.
Great music is the theme tonight at the War Memorial Auditorium, 800 NE 8th St. as Taylor Dane, Deborah Cox, Martha Wash, Ari Gold, Halcyon and Brian Kent take the stage for the concert of a lifetime. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $35.
The men’s closing party will be held tonight at The Manor, 2345 Wilton Dr. in Wilton Manors. DJs Chus and Ceballos will play high energy dance music. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
The ladies closing party is at New Moon in Wilton Manors and is free.
Monday, Feb. 21
After a long weekend of dancing, parties and entertainment, Monday morning is the time to recuperate and Mojo, 4140 N. Federal Hwy. in Fort Lauderdale, is serving up brunch. Enjoy the special FORTitude Bloody Mary and dig into Mojo’s fantastic food to wrap things up.
For more information or tickets, go to FortitudeWeekend.com.