Orlando Pride has grown over the past decade, becoming one of the largest LGBT pride celebrations in the state of Florida, with over 125,000 people attending the parade and festival portions of the festivities last year. This year, there are a number of events comprising Orlando
Pride weekend, beginning on Thursday, October 8 and finishing up in the wee hours of Sunday, October 11. Let me tell you what fun events are going on for the eleventh annual Orlando Pride celebrations.
The Pride Launch Party
This event will be held on Thursday, October 8 from 7 p.m. to midnight at The Veranda (111 N. Summerlin Ave.). The Pride Launch Party is sponsored by the Thornton Park District and The Hammered Lamb, with special thanks to HRC, Orlando Fringe and XL 106.7 FM. The event will include music, live entertainment, a silent auction, and lots of fun with friends. The party is free to attend, but VIP ticketholders are entitled to catered food from Little Lamb Catering, a special VIP seating section, two drink tickets, a gift bag, and valet parking. (VIP tickets are $30 per person — tickets can be bought at showclix.com/event/COMEOUTWITHPRIDELAUNCHPART).
Pride on Church Street
One of Orlando Pride’s signature events; it will be returning to downtown Orlando’s Church Street Station on Friday, October 9. Beginning at 8 p.m., Pride on Church Street will include live entertainment from a number of local and national acts, such as Amy and Freddy, Bob the Drag Queen, DJ JB Burgos, Ginger Minj and the Minx, and Beth Sacks. This event is brought to you by Hamburger Mary’s Orlando, the Church Street District, Coors, and Hotspots Media Group. Admission is free.
5K Zebra Run
Saturday, October 10, is the biggest day on the Orlando Pride calendar, and it begins with a 5k “Zebra Run,” which returns for another year to the Pride events roster. The run begins at 7:30 a.m. at Lake Eola Park, and the route will be peppered with live entertainment to cheer participants on. Registration costs $32 per person for adults or $20 for students, and proceeds raised will benefit the Zebra Coalition and their quest to provide safe spaces, including housing, for LGBTQ+ youth in Central Florida. Register online for the Zebra Run at comeoutwithpride.com/event/zebra-run.
Pride Festival at Lake Eola
The festival begins at noon and will run until 9:30 p.m., with hundreds of vendors, food and drink trucks, and advocacy organizations set up all along Lake Eola. Pride festival admission is free, but the VIP experience entitles pass-holders to hors d’oeuvres by John Michael Events, a fun atmosphere as conceptualized by 82 South, and an open bar all day long. Tickets are $75 per person and can be bought by going to comeoutwithpride.com/event/vipexperience. The VIP experience is presented by PNC Bank.
The Orlando Pride parade kicks off from Lake Eola at 4 p.m. and will take participants around the lake for a jam-packed 90 minutes of fun, vibrant floats as decorated by over 100 businesses and organizations. The parade is presented by Macy’s and should be completed by 5:30 p.m. After the parade, celebrate with the popular Club H20 pop-up nightclub right on the lake, brought to you by One Magical Weekend, Here to Help Orlando and 82 South. The cost to attend is $10 at the door, and music will be provided by DJs “Twisted Dee” Martello and Edil Hernandez.
Dinner and Fireworks
As in many past years, John Michael Events and Catering will provide the “dinner” portion of the dinner and fireworks show, beginning at 7 p.m. lakeside. People staying for dinner will get a prime viewing location for the fireworks, and they will also enjoy the drinks of their choice as well as a succulent five-course dinner. Tickets are $85 per person or $200 for a sweetheart table for two. Go to comeoutwithpride.com/event/dinnerandfireworks and reserve your spot!
Official Orlando Pride After-Party
Finally, the official Orlando Pride after-party will be held at Parliament House Orlando beginning at 10 p.m. You can park at Parliament House and go back and forth on the free Orlando Pride shuttle to and from Lake Eola between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. After 10, expect lots of fun entertainment, including Mimi Marks as she performs with the Footlight Players, music by DJ Brianna, and a live concert by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door; go to parliamenthouse.com to get your advance tickets.
Hotspots Media Group is proud to be a sponsor of Orlando Pride. For more information on Orlando Pride, visit comeoutwithpride.org.