Pride Fort Lauderdale presents “Carnaval” and first-ever parade – Feb 21 to 24, 2019
Pride Fort Lauderdale will be celebrated Feb. 21 – 24, 2019 under the theme of “Carnaval,” a salute to the colorful culture and traditions of the Caribbean and Latin America. This lends perfectly to the launch of the first-ever, “Pride of the Americas 2020“, to be held in Fort Lauderdale next year. New this year, Pride Fort Lauderdale is introducing a parade to the festival line-up. This will be the very first parade in Fort Lauderdale history held on State Road A1A along the beach. The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday February 23, from Windamar Street and proceed down the northbound lanes of SR A1A to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. In keeping with the theme, “Carnaval,” all entries are encouraged to incorporate the festive style of Caribbean and Latin American Carnaval festivals into their vehicles, outfits, and activities. Think creativity, choreography, and costumes. Pride Fort Lauderdale is the oldest Pride celebration in the state of Florida.
One of the grand marshals will be Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a transgender activist who was in the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village during the historic 1969 police raid that sparked the modern LGBT+ rights movement. “American Idol” fan favorite Ada Vox, who also made history as the first drag queen to advance to the final 10 contestants, and singer, choreographer and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge Todrick Hall will headline the festival on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Schedule of Events
THURSDAY, FEB. 21
Runway Fashion Show, Hard Rock Event Center – 7 p.m. Trunk Show, 8 p.m. Fashion Show
The latest designs from Project Runway alumni will be featured in this fabulous runway fashion show that officially kicks off Pride weekend at the Hard Rock Event Center at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.
FRIDAY, FEB. 22
Pride on the Drive – 6 p.m.
On Friday night, the party moves to Wilton Manors where dozens of bars, restaurants, and shops will be rolling out the rainbow carpet for a casual celebration in the “gayborhood.” Enjoy drink specials, discounts and live entertainment at participating businesses, all night, up and down Wilton Drive.
Stonewall National Museum & Archives Gala – 7 p.m.
Stonewall National Museum & Archives observes the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots at their annual gala at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale Beach. Actress and activist Kathy Najimy (“Sister Act”) will be the guest speaker for the gala, which also includes a silent auction, dinner, and entertainment. Click here to reserve your tickets today.
SATURDAY, FEB 23
Drag Brunch – 11:30 a.m.
Pride Fort Lauderdale is teaming up with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival for a fabulous drag brunch at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale Beach. National radio personality Elvis Duran will be your host, along with his fiancé Alex Carr and MC Shawn Palacious (aka Kitty Meow). Enjoy delectable dishes created by local celebrity chefs and performances by the region’s top drag queens. Tickets are $125 each. Click here to reserve your tickets today.
B3: Bear Beach Bash – 12 p.m.
Party the afternoon away with music and entertainment by “My Big Funny Peter,” the world’s first gay muscle bear comedian, Peter Bisuito, as your host. Hot muscle bear go-go dancers and more on the Sebastian Beach stage! Get there early and you’ll be in a prime location to watch the very first Pride Fort Lauderdale “Carnaval” parade, too! Best of all, it’s FREE!
Carnaval Drag & Dine Parties – 12 p.m.
The festival gets started early at the many hotels and restaurants along SR A1A (and you can beat the traffic for the parade). Participating businesses will be offering entertainment, drink and food specials all afternoon.
Carnaval Parade – 5:30 p.m.
Pride Fort Lauderdale is hosting its first Pride parade this afternoon along scenic SR A1A, the FIRST parade ever held on Fort Lauderdale Beach. More than 80,000 spectators are expected along the route, which runs from Sebastian Beach to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park.
Pride Block Party – 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
After the parade, head to 5th St. and SR A1A for a rockin’ block party. Dance the night away while enjoying live performances by your favorite local drag queens, musical acts and internationally-acclaimed DJs.
SUNDAY, FEB. 24
The Pride Fort Lauderdale Beach Festival once again returns to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. The festival includes world-renowned entertainers on TWO stages, more than 100 local and national exhibitors, food court, and of course, the world-class beaches of Fort Lauderdale. This year’s entertainment line-up includes American Idol fan favorite Ada Vox and the incredible Todrick Hall, YouTube personality, American Idol veteran and popular guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The celebration concludes at 7:45 p.m. with a stunning fireworks display on the beach.
More than 50,000 people are expected for the festival. FREE admission, $5 donation requested at the gate. Read about the history of Fort Lauderdale/Dale County Pride here.
LGBT Visitor Center
The area’s first LGBT+ Visitor Center to showcase attractions of interest to LGBT+ visitors is now open. The Visitor Center is a result of a partnership between the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau & the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The new center will be co-located within the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce office in the heart of Wilton Manors, Broward County’s gay-centric district with the destination’s largest concentration of gay residents and businesses.
Greater Fort Lauderdale is also home to one of the largest Pride Centers in the country, the world’s first AIDS museum, the global headquarters of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, and the Stonewall Museum, one of the only permanent spaces in the U.S. devoted to exhibitions relating to LGBT+ history and culture.
Greater Fort Lauderdale has been popular with the LGBT+ community for decades, welcoming 1.5 million LGBT+ visitors who spend $1.5 billion annually.
For more information on LGBT+ travel in Greater Fort Lauderdale, visit www.sunny.org/lgbt.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.