Celebrating the LGBT Community in Centro Ybor on March 25

Tampa Pride is a celebration of all of the obstacles our community has overcome throughout our history. It is our chance to celebrate being free of persecution, persecution that still plagues GLBTA people all around the world. This year, the Central Florida LGBT community and her allies will kick off the pride season on Sunday, March 25 with a parade and festival. The celebration will take place in Tampa’s GaYbor neighborhood, which serves as the de facto home of the LGBT community in Tampa.

This year’s parade and street festival will be bigger and better than 2016. Organizers have additional capacity for parade floats and entries, and have promised to add over 80 percent more booths. They have also added new stages and entertainment for your viewing pleasure!

In addition, the street festival is moving back to 8th Avenue! Food and entertainment also will also be available at Centro Ybor as well as the HCC parking lot area (northeast corner of 15th street and 8th Avenue).  The Street Festival and entertainment begin at 10 a.m., followed by a special Pulse Tribute called Tampa Pride Tribute to the Community will take place at noon on 7th Avenue in front of Centro Ybor. The tribute will feature the famous Key West Rainbow Flag that is over 100 feet long.

The Tampa Pride Diversity Parade kicks off at 1PM from Nuccio at 7th Avenue (traveling east to 20th Street). This year’s Grand Marshals are; former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner and local Community Leader Joey Brooks.

The special Grand Marshal Couple is Hotspots Media Group owners  Peter Clark and Cleto Beuren who have been together more than 30 years. The parade will also feature the New 2017 Miss Tampa Pride is Miss Kenya B. Black. I asked Peter Clark about being chosen as the Grand Marshal Couple and he told me: “Cleto and I are so honored to be chosen as the Grand Marshal Couple for this year’s Tampa Pride. I never imagined when I met my husband over 30 years ago that we would be here, but I am so glad to have him by my side as we watch our children and grandchildren grow. I am proud of the company that we have built together and of our commitment to the LGBT community here in Tampa and across Florida. I would personally like to thank Carrie West and the other organizers of Tampa Pride who work so hard all year long to bring this amazing event together.”

Tampa Pride will recognize the community with the presentation of the  LGBTA Community Leaders Awards which will be presented to former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman and retired Ybor City Development Corporation Manager Vince Pardo.