What better time of year to say "GET YOURSELF TO FLORIDA!" And when we say Florida, there's no better place to be gay and have fun than greater Fort Lauderdale.
As most of the East Coast is dealing with a "bomb cyclone" dumping snow onto too many cities to mention with bitter cold temperatures, I sit here in Fort Lauderdale counting the few days remaining to February 11th, 2018. Just 5 weeks from this Sunday, Southern Florida will be celebrating the 41st Fort Lauderdale Pride. What may be the first Pride of the year celebrated in the United States is bound to be a great time.
Again, 2018's celebration is on February 11th this year, plenty of time to get your butts down here and join in on the fun in the sand. Here is last year's Pride promotional video.
Will this year be just as great? If you need to convince your single self to come down to Fort Lauderdale for an amazing time on the beach or if you need to coax your significant other to get on a plane … the celebration is the weekend before Valentine's Day. Single? Put yourself in a sea of men on a beach. Coupled? Make it a romantic get away to a celebration of love. And that is what the organizers are calling this pride – The Love Pride 2018.
Join us at Fort Lauderdale Beach on Valentine's Weekend for The Love Pride 2018, our FREE LGBTQ Pride festival. Dance the afternoon away to the music of top DJs on the Swiss Navy main stage, enjoy local performers on the community stage, peruse more than 100 vendor booths, sample food and more.
Special areas for LGBTQ seniors, families, women, people in recovery and the first South Florida Trans Pride. Tickets are also available for purchase for the Celebrity Cruises VIP Lounge, including open bar all day long. Last year, more than 40,000 people helped us celebrate and this year's festival will be BIGGER and BETTER.
And as it mentions, there are other spots besides VIP areas, like a Pride Dry Area.
Our community is made up of people from all walks of life including some that may have issues with addictions and may find it challenging to be around alcohol. Pride Fort Lauderdale understands this and will incorporate an alcohol-free Dry Area where people can enjoy Pride without the pressure of alcohol and spend time other like minded individuals.
There were many times in 2017 when I was reminded as to why moving to Fort Lauderdale was the right choice for me. Fort Lauderdale Pride in February was one of those. The great energy and locale of last year's pride was picture perfect. I had moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2013 and never attended the February Pride in 2014, 2015, or 2016. I had heard the event was more of a community fair in a park that I had no desire to go to. It was rumored to mainly be booths and vendors and maybe some entertainment. I needed to know there would be a little more excitement before signing up for a bunch of booths on a lawn.
When I heard about the move to the shore for 2017, I was in. Being on Fort Lauderdale Beach in February, zero humidity, great sun, and great participants with great booths, community groups, LGBT businesses and allies was a huge blast.
And I think that is one thing that people need to feel about Fort Lauderdale – the people are great here. The energy is great here. There's a saying about Floridians – no one is really from here. So to have the mix of backgrounds of locals as well as visitors and snow birds all together for a celebration, one that also pulled in people from other parts of Florida like Tampa, Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and even meeting people from places in Europe, the Pride celebration was a blast.