BeachBear Weekend is the newest international bear event, and everyone in Florida and further afield is excited ahead of its third annual weekend of fun parties. The bears hit the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach starting May 7 and will be out and about through May 12.

The weekend was started three years ago and has grown to attract thousands of bears to the Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors area. When asked why he and his partners started this event, Bob Young told Hotspots, “We started this event because Fort Lauderdale is such a natural place to have a great and healthy vacation. I took a Caribbean cruise last year and the best beach was the one we left from, Fort Lauderdale. The bear community, who, by the way, come in all shapes, sizes, and races, are a very generous group.

“The monies raised through the Bear Tags and sponsorships from our businesses go to The Pride Center.  We just want everyone to get to enjoy this beach and Fort Lauderdale the way we know it. We ask them to buy our Bear Tags that will let them have a great time at the clubs and our parties.  That is how the Bears can give back.  This event has been produced on a shoestring and a beach.”

Book your tickets to Fort Lauderdale now if you haven’t already! Some exciting news this year: Delta Air Lines is partnering with BeachBear Weekend as the official airline for the event. Visit for exclusive codes and discounts for domestic and international flights!

What we’ve learned about the weekend so far: we’re told that the same fun parties you enjoyed last year are coming back this year, so get ready for a great time! The TeaCruise bear_3party will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott at Fort Lauderdale Beach for another year. DJ Chris Racine will be spinning some hot beats for your enjoyment as you dance and enjoy the beautiful ocean view. BeachBear will also continue to feature DJs from Provincetown’s Bear Week and California’s Lazy Bear, among other easily recognizable names from all over the world.

Get into these events by purchasing BearTags; they are on offer for just $59. Visit for more details. The host hotel, the aforementioned Courtyard by Marriott at Fort Lauderdale Beach, is offering special rates to BeachBear Weekend attendess as well, call them at (954) 524-8733 and ask for the BeachBear special. The ocean view rooms are gorgeous!

This year the BeachBear Weekend team announces a new beneficiary for the fundraisers held throughout the weekend — The Pride Center. BeachBear is honored to partner with this group, as they provide so many appreciated and essential resources to the community in Fort Lauderdale. BeachBear Weekend organizers call them “the cornerstone of the gay community,” a description that is well-deserved and accurate!

bear_1In addition to supporting The Pride Center, BeachBear Weekend will also be donating proceeds to the Abandoned Pet Rescue. The Abandoned Pet Rescue is a no-kill animal shelter that they feel can be overlooked in the community and needs special support. Like The Pride Center, the Abandoned Pet Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Enjoy BeachBear Weekend — the cruise that never has to leave port! When asked for a parting comment, Young told our readers, “Have a great BeachBear! WOOF!”