Column: Wilton Manors Pride

SFGN File Photo

Perhaps there is some truth to the myths of the ancient Greek gods’ preference to homosexuality. 

Zeus’ choice of Ganymede to serve as his cupbearer on Mount Olympus might have been a sign for his current day blessings of a rain-free celebration of Stonewall Pride this past Saturday. Zeus, the ruler of the heavens, is the one who reins over the clouds, rain, thunder and lightning. So as I sit here on this very rainy Sunday writing my article, I send offerings of gratitude and thanks to Zeus for a rain-free celebration of Stonewall Pride 20/50 here in our week-long-rain-soaked Island City. 

While I am in a congratulatory mood to the Greek gods, let me also thank Hephaestus and Athena for blessing us with Wilton Art and the many committed residents who are responsible for the wonderful work that is taking place in our Island City.  The art installations at City Hall for Pride Month are spectacular. 

The photo of Wilton Manors City Hall at night all alight in rainbow colored lights should make all residents proud. Moving in for a closer look, one can appreciate the two fantastic art installations brought to us by Wilton Art. 

The front window panels are the canvas for three images commemorating the six days of the Stonewall riots 50 years ago. Inside is the Stonewall Ribbons installation, a kaleidoscope of color that blesses our City Hall with the wonderment, the power and the engagement of public art. Wilton Art has much to be proud of, and I am excited to know that these talented and committed individuals are just getting started. 

Other recent installations include the mural at the south gateway to our city on the side wall of The Grille, welcoming all to our wonderful city. At Jaycee Park, we finally have that photo spot, and coming up soon will be the utility wraps spread throughout our art-craving neighborhoods. Many thanks to the Island City Art Advisory Committee for all their dedication and hard work. And many thanks to Hephaestus and Athena for finally blessing our city with such dedicated art enthusiasts and art-craving residents who want more. 

Now to those who proclaim that our city is quickly becoming a retirement home for aging queens. Looking out at the participants of the Stonewall Pride parade and the crowds, many youthful participants were everywhere. Once again, the Greek gods are blessing our city.  The goddess Hebe’s presence could be felt up and down the Drive this past Saturday with so many children and teenagers participating and marching in the parade. 

Mayor Justin Flippen led the parade with a large contingent of young residents marching out in front. These same young ones take part in many city programs offered to our young residents. Children’s Story Time every Monday at our city’s municipal library is one of the hottest tickets in town. Leisure Services’ after-school program and summer camp are sold-out events. Easter-time Eggstravaganza, Christmas Breakfast with Santa, the Annual Spooktacular event, and Music at Mickel are more prideful examples of our city’s diverse programs offered to our engaged community. 

As we celebrate Pride Month, our Island City has much to be proud of. We are an engaged community with much to offer all who call Wilton Manors home. The Rainbow Flag proudly flying throughout our Island City offers us the foundation and a representation of who we are — a community of many coming together seeking to make our city the best we all can be. That is why we celebrate Pride Month and that is what makes life just better here.


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