Pride South Florida, the organization that produces the annual PrideFest has rolled out a number of changes for the 33rd annual event this weekend, Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14.

The most noticeable change is the new location, Jaco Pastorius Park in Oakland Park, located at the intersection of Dixie Hwy. and 40th Ct. After several years at the War Memorial Auditorium, the festival moves to a more intimate, family-oriented space for the festival, which regularly attracts thousands of LGBT attendees and their friends and families.

This year, the committee has also introduced afternoon tea dances, featuring DJs Blaine Soileau, Bill Hallquist, Paradox and Miik. A second dance tent, sponsored by PNN Radio features beats from DJs Silvio, Maximus 3000 and Corey D from Southern California. Featured entertainers include CeCe Peniston, Pepper MaShay, Gioia Bruno, Heather Craig, Tony Cruise, Marc Hansen and Noa Tylo.

SFGN thanks Stacy Reale, a graduate of SUNY at Oswego, for the design of the front page ‘Who We Are’ poster, created last fall for National Coming Out Day.


Who’s Who at PrideFest 2010

Craig Craig Stevens: Co-anchor of the WSVN 7 News, he has been an anchor and reporter for nearly 20-years. He began his career in 1987 in the mailroom at NBC News in Washington, D.C. His reporting has included a wide range of stories, including several hurricanes beginning with “Andrew,” the Oklahoma City bombing, the disputed 2000 Presidential Election. He also spent weeks following the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace and the manhunt for his killer, Andrew Cunanan, as well as Pope John Paul II’s visits to Cuba and the United States, the death of JFK, Jr., the Elian Gonzalez saga, and Fidel Castro’s visit to the United Nations. Craig is active in a number of charities and organizations. In September 2005, “Florida Monthly” magazine named Craig “Best Local TV News Anchor”. The Broward/Palm Beach “New Times” honored Stevens with the same distinction in 2003.

Donna Denise & Donna: Hosts of the internet radio show “The Lesbian Lounge,” they have been called “pee in your pants hilarious.” The laugh-out-loud pair host their live broadcast every Wednesday evening at 9 p.m. on
Marky G: A former radio host and a regular feature at Pride South Florida events for years, Marky is a perennial crowd-pleaser.
CeCe Peniston: The R&B sensation has enjoyed a career spanning two decades, beginning with her signing on to A&M Records in 1990 and her breakout hit “Finally,” released the following year. In 1996, Peniston toured with the all-star cast of the musical The Wiz, performing as Glinda the Good Witch. Her 2001 “Lifetime to Love” hit #2 on the Billboard dance chart. In 2005, she was featured on “Deeper Love,” the first single from trumpeter David Longoria, which peaked at #14 on the Billboard dance chart. Peniston also worked last year with musical sensation Montell Jordan on their hit “He Say She Say."
Lori Lori Michaels: Me & the Girls: Named one of CURVE Magazine’s 2008 seven ENTERTAINERS OF THE YEAR, Michaels career took off in 2006 after her official “Coming Out” party at House of Blues in Atlantic City. CURVE wrote that “her live shows are the stuff of lesbian legend.” Her debut album “Living My Life Out Loud” earned Michaels the sobriquet “THE Dyke Diva.” Appearing on the August 2008 cover of GO! Magazine, and again in 2009 as one of the “100 Women We Love,” the magazine said “Every once in a while an enigmatic, stereotype-breaking artist like Lori Michaels comes along to level the playing field and change the rules of the game. She is also highly recognizable to sports fans for her appearances at numerous NFL, NHL, NBA, and WNBA games singing the National Anthem, along with memorable pre- game and half-time performances. Michaels is a popular featured performer at numerous LGBT Pride events across the U.S.
Pepper Pepper MaShay: A frequent name on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play and Hot Dance Airplay charts, with singles including “Something To Feel” (1995), “Happiness” (1997), “Step Into My Life” (1998), “Sextacy” (2000) and “Send Me an Angel” (2005). Her voice may be best known from the “Let’s get soaking wet!” chant in Barry Harris’ “Dive in the Pool”, which appeared in the American version of Queer as Folk. In 2006, she earned her first solo chart-topper on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart with “Lost Yo Mind”. Her 2008 “Got To Give The People What They Want” and “Does Your Mamma Know” are still crowd pleasers.
Gioia Gioia Bruno: Born in Bari, Italy and raised in New Jersey, she started singing in night clubs at age 16. In 1986 she auditioned for a group in Florida and relocated. While performing at Gee Wiz in Miami, she was offered a spot in musical sensation Exposé. Gioia sang lead on Exposé’s “Let Me Be the One,” “What You Don’t Know,” and “Tell Me Why.” She co-founded the West Broward Performing Arts Academy. When Exposé reformed in 2006, she returned to the group for the first time in 15 years. In 2008, Gioia went into the studio to begin working on her second solo album.
Heather Heather Craig: Solo artist and lead singer of Out Loud, an all-gay and lesbian band, which performed at New Moon in Wilton Manors this month. OUT LOUD CAME together for their first performance this past October. The group formed when Craig, a mortgage banker, was at a networking event and met realtor and fellow musician Linda Jain. “It was Linda’s idea to have an all-gay band,” Craig says. The two put an ad in a local newspaper looking for other gay performers and the rest, as they say, is LGBT music history.

Marc Marc Hansen: When he isn’t serving as your PrideFest 2010 co-chair, Marc can be found entertaining audiences with his accomplished vocals as well as by emceeing Drummer leather events around the U.S., and calling Bingo at the Pride Center at Equality Park here in Wilton Manors (which he’ll do immediately after PrideFest’s first day ends on Saturday!). In addition, Marc has served as a Board member for the last 4 years for Stonewall Pride (although he insists he’s way too young to be a “Chairperson Emeritus”).
Francillia Francillia: Lead singer of Tampa/US Virgin Islands-based psychedelic pop-dance outfit Beatnik Castle, Francillia rocked the charts this year with the release of her hit dance/pop single “Will U B Mine?” and other songs from solo CD “Temptation.” “Will U B Mine?” is currently played on radio across the country, including XM/Sirius BPM as well as on radio stations in Europe and Australia. In addition to being an accomplished recording artist and performer, Francillia is a US Army veteran and an active member of the US Reserves. She performed at the 2009 Winter Music Conference in Miami. Her sultry vocals energize and invigorate and her presence captures the essence of creativity.
TP TP Lords: A performer since the age of 16, TP was “discovered” after her club kid days by South Florida event producer and promoter Gary Santis. She has been active in female impersonation in venues of every size, and is a regular featured entertainer in VOODOO Lounge’s “Life’s a Drag.”
Noa Tylo: In trying to describe the South African native’s style, Top Forty Magazine has likened him to Madonna in her early days, when her sexually charged performances and provocative views pushed all boundaries. When asked what inspires him, Noa says he hopes “to represent a new generation with a new perspective on sex, love, intimacy and emotion.” Now residing in New York, Noa is considered an international rising star, with audiences for some of his performances topping 10,000.
Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus Ensemble:  Now in its 24th season, the mission of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus is to build community through quality musical performances that promote a world accepting and valuing diversity.
Tony Cruz: An accomplished balladeer, songwriter, and entertainer who brings a combination of charm, good looks and a captivating voice to the delight of audiences. A resident of Miramar, he has been crooning his way into the hearts of South Florida since the age of 12. His voice can be heard all over South Florida on advertisements for almost everything imaginable. Cruz has performed with some of the greats, including The Drifters, The Beach Boys and Patti Labelle. Tony works full time as a musician, writing and recording.
South Florida Pride Jazz Ensemble: One of the nation’s most respected LGBT jazz groups, the ensemble has thrilled audiences with their talent, timing and energy. One of their signal honors came in 2008, when the group performed at a private fundraiser for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign,  an intimate affair hosted by attorney and community leader Dean Trantalis and his partner Richard Smith. The event culminated with the arrival of former President Bill Clinton.

Drag It OUT: A multicultural grassroots esteem-building group that empowers people to question gender roles. Embodying creativity, self-expression, community-involvement and free, Drag It OUT supports and educates the community through workshops, mentoring and FUNdraising events that challenge gender stereotypes. DIO’s fundraising troupe performs at charity events, clubs, theater shows, and your 2010 PrideFest.