Love will shine on Fort Lauderdale Beach this Valentine’s weekend. Pride Fort Lauderdale, Sunday, Feb. 11, 12 noon – 8 p.m., is expected to draw more than 60,000 people to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd., to celebrate the nation’s only “Love Pride.”
“Love always wins,” said Pride Fort Lauderdale president Miik Martorell, “and what better place to celebrate both our past and our future than Fort Lauderdale Beach?”
Pride Fort Lauderdale celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017. The first Pride festival in the state of Florida, Pride South Florida (now Pride Fort Lauderdale) was originally organized as a political protest after voters in Miami-Dade County overwhelmingly supported a referendum to rescind a historic gay rights ordinance in 1977.
“Today, Pride Fort Lauderdale is not only a reminder of how far we have come, but also a celebration of the vibrant and diverse community we have become,” said Pride executive director Natalie Tyler, who noted Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors have among the highest concentrations of LGBTQ households in the country, according to the U.S. Census.
In addition to internationally-acclaimed mainstage DJs and entertainers, Pride Fort Lauderdale will also offer a new community stage featuring local talent and areas for LGBTQ families, seniors, women, youth and people in recovery.
This year, South Florida’s first Trans Pride will also be held during Pride Fort Lauderdale.
The evening will conclude with dazzling fireworks over the beach.
Guests from across the country and several different countries visited Fort Lauderdale this year for the first festival on the beach. A number of sanctioned dance and pool parties are planned both on the beach and in nearby Wilton Manors so visitors and residents alike can make it a weekend event.