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A seriously good time for a very serious cause. It’s been a year since the Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival, like so many other events, was canceled at the last minute.

Now with more people getting vaccines and more aware of how to keep COVID-19 at bay, the party is ready to go on. And it promises to be worth the wait.

The 5k walk and concert are set for Saturday, April 24 at South Beach Park on Fort Lauderdale Beach. The walk steps off at 10 a.m. and the music starts about 45 minutes later with DJ Alex getting the post-walk party started. Later Trina will take the stage followed by a fierce performance by Lil’ Kim. She was set to perform at last year’s show and fans will finally get the chance to see her show up close.

Of course, there are still pandemic precautions that need to be observed, and organizers have worked hard to adapt the event to the current circumstances. First, they worked closely with Broward County and the city of Fort Lauderdale to create a safety plan. That includes distanced viewing boxes for each group of walkers. Each group has to arrive together so they can go to a box together. There will be a staggered release of walkers so they can start heading along the route. Also, social distancing from people outside of your group will be enforced.

Everyone must wear masks unless they’re eating or drinking. But masks are part of the fun. Bedazzle, bejewel, and design the most creative mask because there will be a “coolest mask” contest.

While the COVID pandemic has gripped the country, the fight against HIV/AIDS is still a critical health crisis. More than 100,000 Floridians are living with the disease, and about 15% have no idea they are carrying the virus.

Money raised from the walk and concert helps many South Florida nonprofits, including AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Latinos Salud, SunServe, and The Pride Center at Equality Park. This year’s goal is $1.5 million. 

To learn more about how to register, form a team, donate, or the walk’s latest health protocols, visit their website