As Florida cities begin to open up and more and more people begin to get their vaccines, the return of festivals and parades no longer seems so far-fetched. Tampa Pride Street Festival 2021 becomes the first major pride festival in Florida to return.
Other major cities in Florida, such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach have either canceled or pushed their pride festivals to the fall. Key West looks to be making a return in June, a few weeks after Tampa holds theirs.
City leaders in Tampa have been concerned about large gatherings, but parades and festivals bring crowds of people and millions of dollars to the Tampa Bay area each year.
After Tampa Pride 2020 was canceled, Carrie West, the nonprofit’s president said that they are still recovering.
“It was kind of a drop of the heart and stomach, and a big punch,” West said in a report by News Channel 8. “We have all the money that was paid out for the event itself, for supplies. We’re not the only ones. I think there are a lot of nonprofits that aren’t going to be making it.”
Parades and festivities will not be officially approved until closer to their planned times, according to city officials. This will help the council to assess COVID levels and determine if activities are safe to host.
“What we were told was, move forward slowly at a steady pace,” West recalled to News Channel 8. “At the beginning of March they said to move a little faster, your pace is going well.”
The sixth annual Tampa Pride Diversity Parade will take place at the corner of Nuccio Parkway and E 7th Avenue, down E 7th Avenue to N 20th Street on May 22 at 4 p.m.
While the parade starts at 4 p.m., pride participants can walk around the festival starting at 10:45 a.m. with the Tampa Bay Pride Parade Band and guest speakers followed by featured entertainment. The main stage will be located in the Cuban Club Courtyard.
This year the street festival will feature an arts and crafts area and a community health fair, as well as Tampa Pride’s first food alley. The food alley will be located on 14th Street between The Cuban Club and HHC, and it will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Visit TampaPride.org for more information.