This year’s Come Out with Pride Orlando celebrations, presented by Macy’s, started on October 1…
COME OUT WITH PRIDE ORLANDO
A WEEKEND PACKED WITH OFFICIALLY SANCTIONED EVENTS
by: Mike Halterman
This year’s Come Out with Pride Orlando celebrations, presented by Macy’s, started on October 1 with an appearance from filmmaker John Waters at The Abbey. There are many official events going on throughout Orlando coming up from this issue’s distribution date (Thursday, October 3) through to Sunday, October 6. Here are descriptions of Pride-sanctioned events.
Thursday, October 3
Pride takes center stage at the opening ceremonies, which will be held at Cheyenne Saloon on 128 West Church Street. Out gay country singer Steve Grand (“All American Boy,” “Stay”, see his interview in this week’s Hotspots) will be performing for the crowds, and there will also be a performance by the cast of the musical Disenchanted!
Have you had a chance to experience Halloween Horror Nights? The Halloween-themed event at Universal Studios Florida is in its 23rd year, and this will be the second year that the LGBT community will be converging on the theme park to experience some good, scary fun. Be sure to wear purple like the others coming out with pride! Single admission tickets cost $39.99 and a special package, including single admission, a T-shirt, and drink tickets to Pride and Ember, are $55, and both can be purchased in advance at ComeOutWithPride.com. All proceeds go directly to benefit future Come Out with Pride celebrations.
Friday, October 4
Church Street Station will be hosting a Pride Outdoor Block Party, starting at 8 p.m. in front of Hamburger Mary’s. Martha Wash, formerly one half of The Weather Girls (“It’s Raining Men”), will be performing live on-stage. Other entertainment during the party will include the duo of Amy and Freddy, The Broadway Babes, DJ Bill Bennett, and DJ Kirk.
Saturday, October 5
A 5k community run/walk, called Be the Change, will start on Magnolia Avenue near Lake Eola at 7:30 a.m. and will take participants through downtown Orlando. The walk/run is presented by Reeves United Methodist Church. Major thoroughfares included in the route include East Livingston Street, North Hampton Avenue, and East Central Boulevard.
Lake Eola hosts a day-long pride festival starting at noon. Over 150 vendors will be set up, showcasing their products and services. There will also be 10 full bars and six beer tents along the lake for your convenience. Live music will be playing on the main stage and throughout the park.
The pride parade starts at 4 p.m. The staging area will be along East Robinson Street, with the actual parade following the route down North Summerlin Avenue, East Central Boulevard and North Rosalind Avenue.
The fireworks presentation on the lake starts at 9 p.m. A twilight dinner, presented by BMO Harris Bank, John Michael Weddings and Events, and Barefoot Wine, will start for reserved ticketholders at 7 p.m. at the promenade on Central Avenue. There will also be a lakeside dance party, sponsored by One Magical Weekend and Hotspots Magazine, with music by DJ Scott Robert and the special dancing Riptide Boys. The dancing starts at 8 p.m. and continues on until 10 p.m. at Washington Plaza, to the right of the main stage.
After Pride, you have two officially sanctioned events as party options. The first is Mansion Escape, which starts at 10 p.m. at a secret waterfront mansion in Winter Park (you will be told of the venue and its location when you buy tickets). DJ Chris Cox, well-known for his remixes of Britney, Christina and Whitney, will be coming into town from Los Angeles to spin at the mansion. DJ Truelove will also be dropping those beats, coming in from Las Vegas for one of Orlando’s after-Pride parties. (Buy tickets at MansionEscape.com.) The second is Parliament House’s Pride Dance Party, featuring Taylor Dayne, performing some of her hits such as “Tell It To My Heart,” “Love Will Lead You Back,” “Naked Without You,” “Prove Your Love,” and others. DJ Randy Bettis is in town from New York to get the crowds grooving, and he will be assisted by local DJ Brianna.
Sunday, October 6
The official pride brunch, Sunday Funday, will start at 1 p.m. at Ember on 42 West Central Boulevard in downtown Orlando. There will be quite a few drink specials, in addition to such delicious food options as the world famous crab cakes benedict, cinnamon apple French toast, brunch flatbreads, entrée salads and a build-your-own-omelet option.
There are three extracurricular options for your Sunday: attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (two options, 2 and 4 p.m.), boarding a shuttle to Kennedy Space Center for a tour (leaving 11 a.m. from Lake Eola Fifth Third Bank branch), or going to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in the evening to attend the special Come Out with Pride showing of Mamma Mia! at 6:30 p.m. Adult tickets for these events vary from $56 to $79 and you can purchase tickets for all three of these excursions at ComeOutWithPride.com.