It seems like every one-horse town in America has its own Pride celebration these days. Which is fantastic, of course. It’s a sign of how far our LGBTQ community has come.
But the flood of Pride events (especially in June) can also make it a little hard for a city or town to stand out from the crowd, to make its Pride seem special.
Not for St. Petersburg.
St. Pete Pride is special.
With more than 200,000 participants, St. Pete Pride is Florida’s — and one of the country’s — largest. And it’s grown to that size in just 16 years.
It’s hard to beat a nighttime Pride parade. The evening hour is perfect for our Florida climate, but it also provides an opportunity for spectacular, dazzlingly lighted showmanship. Last year 40 floats and more than 100 contingents made their way down Bayshore Drive, including dancers, soldiers, drag queens, and drill teams such as popular favorites the ROTC (Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps).
More important, the parade isn’t the culmination of St. Pete’s Pride festivities. It’s surrounded by events that guarantee Pride-goers are participants, not mere spectators, such as the hours-long celebration that precedes the parade and the massive Pride Street Festival that follows on Sunday.
St. Pete Pride is totally worth traveling for, which is why so many do.
St. Pete Pride Highlights
All addresses in St. Pete, unless otherwise noted. For more info: StPetePride.com.
Wednesday, June 20
St. Pete Pride Reception
7–9pm. Museum of Fine Arts (255 Beach Dr NE). $30.
Pride gets off to a swanky, early start at the Museum with art, hors d’oeuvres, full bar, and good company.
Thursday, June 21
Rooftop Kick-Off Party
7–9pm. Kimpton Hotel Zamora (3701 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach). No cover.
Head over to St. Pete Beach and enjoy panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway from the Zamora’s Castile Rooftop Bar. If you Uber over to the party and show your (digital) receipt to the valet, you’ll get a free drink upon entry.
Pride on the Bay Yacht Party
6–9pm. Port of St. Pete (250 8th Ave SE). $59.
Y2K Productions returns with a second edition of their floating Pride extravaganza: three levels, four parties, three DJs, two live shows, and one amazing location (the Bay!). But who’s counting? We are. There’s only space for 600 — this will sell out!
7–10pm. North Straub Park (400 Bayshore Dr NE). FREE.
Hosted by Coco Montrese of RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 5), SP2 features Swipe Right (7pm), Rolando (8pm), and ’80s cover band The Spazmatics (9pm). No outside beverages allowed, hunties. But don’t go thirsty! Beverage sales at SP2 benefit the St. Pete Pride Community Grants Program.
2nd Annual One Love — Prom in Wonderland
9pm–2am. State Theater (687 Central Avenue N). Advance tix: $15/VIP 30; Day of: $20/$40 VIP. projectnolabels.org.
Wish you could’ve taken a queer date to your high school dance back in the day? Now’s your chance. Project No Labels is back with its LGBTQ+ prom. This year’s theme is Wonderland, and the venue is just a bit nicer than your high school gym (but will DJ Ace Vedo take requests?).
Saturday, June 23
Pride Rooftop Disco
Noon–7pm. Station House (260 1st Ave S). Tix: $20–$40. priderooftopdisco.com.
It’s all about the music at this elevated event featuring resident DJ Austen van der Bleek plus Chicago’s Mystic Bill, NYC’s Richard Vasquez (AKA Dr. Love), and Salt Lake City’s Jesse Walker. After the parade, the party continues until 3am at Ichicoro Ane (260 1st Ave S). A portion of proceeds will benefit Metro Wellness & Community Centers.
Assemble 5pm. Step off 6pm. Vinoy Park (701 Bayshore Drive NE). FREE.
Once again the TransPride March leads the Pride Parade. Come out and help create a world where all trans and gender non-conforming people are safe, loved, and empowered. All are welcome. First 500 people to register (StPetePride.com) receive a free TransPride t-shirt.
St. Pete Pride Parade
2–10pm. Parade step off 7:15pm. Bayshore Dr (from 5th Ave N to Dali Blvd). FREE.
The main event doesn’t get rolling until sunset, but the warm-up is an all-day party in North and South Straub Park featuring community organizations, vendors, food, drank, and nonstop live entertainment on two stages. It’s all capped off with fireworks at 9:45pm.
5–10pm. 400 Bayshore Dr NE. Tix: $85 single/$900 VIP box. StPetePride.com
If you love a parade but need your creature comforts, the Glamstands are back, and this year they’re directly across from North Straub Park on Bayshore. Besides premium views, Glamstanders enjoy live DJs, a private open bar, nibbly bits, and air-conditioned bathrooms. Bleacher seating is available (first come, first served). Spring for a VIP Box to secure reserved (and roped-off) seating for you and up to nine of your closest friends.
St. Pete Pride After Party
9pm–2am. Quench Lounge (13284 66th St N, Largo). No cover. QuenchLounge.com
The official Parade After Party is in Largo. Mingle with the sexy Men of Quench, twirl to DJ Bruce Devery, then soak up the notorious Diva Show — with Eden Deck, Elain Southern Belle, Lady Janet, and Star Montrese Love — at 11pm!
Sunday, June 24
Divine Disco Brunch
10am–3pm. The Cider Press Café (601 Central Avenue N).
Recover from the parade and refuel (bottomless mimosas!) for the festival with Cider Press’ award-winning plant based cuisine. It’s a 1970s groove at brunch with disco beats and a Divine theme. Come dressed in your Pink Flamingos best because, from what we’ve heard about your antics earlier in the weekend, you just may be The Filthiest Person Alive!
St. Pete Pride Festival
11am–5pm. Grand Central District. FREE.
A crowd of more than 50,000 will come together to pick up where they left off on Saturday, enjoying a day of live entertainment, community booths, art, and fantastic food. Again, no outside beverages allowed, but water and other beverages will be sold throughout the festival.