On March 24th and 25th, thousands of people will flock to Lake Worth’s Bryant Park for a two-day celebration of pride in the LGBTQ community. The festival (formerly known as Pridefest) will also serve as the launch of Compass’ 30 year anniversary.
In 1988, a concerned group of men and women joined together to form the Stop AIDS Project of South Florida, Inc. Their goal was to educate individuals on the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and provide direct services to those already living with the virus. In the years that followed, in response to changing needs, the group reformed as Compass and its purpose expanded to provide a focal point for LGBTQ community engagement and support.
The two-day event sees people of all ages and backgrounds join together in celebration. The highlight of the weekend is the mile-long LGBTQ Pride Parade that takes place on March 25th and will feature SMART Ride founders Glen Weinzimer and John Rogatzki as Grand Marshals. Led by the Wells Fargo Stage Coach, thousands of people, organizations and businesses participate in the parade as it winds its way through Downtown Lake Worth into Bryant Park. This year’s Pride Parade theme is “Rainbow Resistance” as a response to the current political climate and its infringement on the forward progress of the LGBTQ community.
“Pride is the biggest weekend of the year to unite, celebrate, and support our community, and we are grateful to all of the people and organizations who participate and make it happen,” said Julia Murphy, Chief Development Officer.
The annual Pride weekend festivities, sponsored in part by Wells Fargo, the SMART Ride, CAN Community Health and PNC Bank, include over 100 vendors , art exhibits, and great food. This year’s entertainment will feature U.S. Billboard Play Artist CeCe Peniston, Scarlett Santana from the group C+C Music Factory, and singer Sammulous from America’s Got Talent. Emceed by Melissa St. John and RaeJean Cox, Pride entertainment will also include local celebrities from the KVJ show on 97.9 WRMF, as well as international DJ Citizen Jane, and Velvet Lenore.
The festival exemplifies the strength and growth of the LGBTQ community by highlighting local businesses that stand by our community and welcome our business. More importantly, Palm Beach Pride emphasizes the importance of diversity in the community, making that community stronger and more accepting of all individuals and their contributions to society. Without a doubt, Palm Beach Pride exists as an important component of Compass’ efforts to create a safe place to live and allows for more effective local advocacy. The event has now grown from a small gathering to one of the largest festivals in South Florida.
For more information about Compass and Palm Beach Pride, please visit www.compassglcc.com.