ST. PETERSBURG — St. Pete Pride, the largest LGBTQ+ celebration in Florida, is back in person this year after canceling events last summer due to the pandemic, though things will look a little different.
Instead of hosting its signature parade, which in 2019 drew an estimated 265,000 people to St. Petersburg’s waterfront, restaurants, retail and cultural institutions will host events and offer discounts all June to spread out the festivities and smooth out attendance. Each week will culminate in a large “signature” event on Saturday.
The first week, called Outdoor Adventure Week, will end with Pride OUTside at Vinoy Park on June 5, with 5k races and an untimed 100-yard “diva dash” in heels and diva attire. The second week, Family Week, celebrates LGBTQ families and allies and will end with We Are Family on June 12, where performers, bands and dance companies will perform at North and South Straub parks and at the St. Pete Pier. The third week, Arts & Music Week, will end with an Arts & Qulture event at the Factory in the Warehouse Arts District on June 19. The whole month wraps with Taste of PrideFest Week, with a Pride Picnic and fireworks celebration on June 26, again at the Straub parks.
Each event costs $5 and tickets go on sale May 1. Attendees will be required to wear masks and social distance.
During a Monday news conference, Pride President Nathan Bruemmer addressed why the celebration is so important for the LGBTQ community. He referenced the pandemic, the ongoing murder trial in the death of George Floyd and a bill in the Florida Legislature that, if enacted, would ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s and girls’ sports.
“We are seeing in Tallahassee right now more significant anti-trans rhetoric and hate than we have ever seen and experienced before,” Bruemmer said.