Nightlife for March 2, 2011

It’s Here: Winter Party Festival

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, there’s little time to lose because the Winter Party Festival is here. The airports have been bustling as LGBT folks arrive in South Florida for a weekend of parties, cultural events and fun in the sun to benefit the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, as well as dozens of local community organizations.

The Beach Party is the signature event of the weekend as thousands undulate to the beat on the white sands of Lummus Park at 12th Street and Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. DJ Alyson Calagna is the headliner for the single largest party of its kind in South Florida, being held Sunday, March 6 from noon to 6 p.m. Of course, there are the popular pool parties on Friday and Saturday afternoons at the Doubletree Surfcomber, the official host hotel, 1717 Collins Ave. There’s also a host of other dances for men and women at local nightclubs to round out the week.

But, there’s much more to the Winter Party including a series of arts, educational, cultural and family-oriented events. Here’s a quick look at the rest of the Winter Party.

Thursday, March 3

Young artists from the Florida Grand Opera present a concert of arias from recent productions at 7 p.m. at the Wolfsonian, 1001 Washington Ave. After the performance enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres with the artists.

Friday, March 4

This may fall under the “cultural” category—we’re not quite sure—but the boys will be heading to trendy Lincoln Road for a shopping spree from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Participating merchants, including FCUK, Macy’s, Babalu and Kiehl’s, will be offering up lots of exclusive deals and serving complimentary Grey Goose cocktails, too.

For a more low key evening, join the gay and lesbian history walking tours of South Beach. The 90-minute tour highlights the contributions of the LGBT community to the history and preservation of the city’s Art Deco architecture. The group departs the Art Deco Welcome Center at 10th Street and Ocean Drive at 5 p.m.

Looking for a laugh tonight? The outrageously funny Wanda Sykes is appearing at The Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theatre as part of the South Beach Comedy Festival. You never know what’s going to come out of her mouth, but it’s guaranteed to be side-splitting!

Saturday, March 5

At least a few Festival attendees will find some religion this weekend, especially at the LGBTheology on Tap event at the Van Dyke Café, 846 Lincoln Rd. At this free event, leading theologian Ted Jennings will discuss the possibility that Jesus was the lover of another man and how that might impact modern religious practice. Jennings, the author of “The Man Jesus Loved,” will lead an open discussion that is sure to provoke.

Sunday, March 6

Fuel up for the big event this afternoon at Brunchnic, the Palace Food Bar’s popular drag brunch. Located right on Ocean Drive the Palace is the perfect place to see and be seen and the performers are pretty darn good too. Seatings are at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. You might just decide to stick around for the tea dance later as well.

Monday, March 7

Wind down at the festival’s official closing event at The Lords South Beach, 1120 Collins Ave. Enjoy drink specials at South Beach’s popular new destination and say goodbye to friends before heading home.

Tickets are required for many festival events and can be purchased at the Doubletree Surfcomber hotel and online. Visit for more information.

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