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The annual Stonewall Festival and Parade is the oldest ongoing gay pride parade in South Florida. The legendary street fest was inspired by the events that occured in 1969 in New York City at The Stonewall Riots.

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The History Behind the Annual Event
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importance-stonewall-3importance-stonewall-5The annual Stonewall Festival and Parade is the oldest ongoing gay pride parade in South Florida. The legendary street fest was inspired by the events that occured in 1969 in New York City at The Stonewall Riots.

The Stonewall Riots are considered by many to be the birth of the gay rights movement. They were a spontaneous series of demonstrations against unfair police raids and many other injustices that were done to the GLBT community and occurred at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969.

Back then, the police departments kept lists of known homosexuals, their favorite establishments, and their friends; bars catering to homosexuals were shut down and homosexual bar customers were arrested and exposed in newspapers; and cities performed sweeps to rid neighborhoods, parks, bars and beaches of gays.

The Stonewall Inn was owned by the mafia and catered to an eclectic group of people including transvestites, hustlers, effeminate young men and homeless youth. For several nights after the raid there were protests and within weeks activist groups were organized to establish places where the GLBT community could be open about their sexual orientation without the fear of being harassed or arrested. One year later, on June 28, 1970, the first gay pride marches took place in Los Angeles and in New York City commemorating the anniversary of the riots.

importance-stonewall-4Today, over 40 years later, gay pride events are held all over the country. Whereas a lot of them are celebrated in June, you can find gay pride events in every month of the year.

Our very own Stonewall Street Festival & Parade is in its 12th year. The event takes place June 19 from 4 to 9 p.m. Thousands will gather on Wilton Drive to celebrate their pride and freedom. The event will be made even more special by the participation of West Hollywood Mayor John Doran who will be a guest. Doran is in talks with Ellen Wedner, of Wedner & Friends, who is running the festival to have West Hollywood and Wilton Manors become sister cities. Other important politicians will also be apart of this important event including Debbie Wasserman Schultz and several commissioners from Oakland Park.

Hotspots has a schedule for you to help you navigate through the Pride Weekend and the Stonewall Street Festival. We hope to see you there at this momentous occasion.

June 17
8 p.m.
Stonewall Street Festival & Parade Kick-Off Party
Scandals Saloon, 3073 NE 6th Avenue, Wilton Manors

June 18
5 to 8 p.m.
“Pride Perfected” GLAAD Pool Party
W Hotel Fort Lauderdale

June 19
Stonewall Street Festival & Parade
6 a.m.- Wilton Drive closes to traffic
4 p.m.- Festival opens
6:30 p.m. Parade begins
9 p.m. Festival ends

INFO:

Stonewall Street Festival
June 19 at 4-9 p.m
From 5 Points to NE 20th Street
Wilton Manors
www.stonewallwiltonmanors.com

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