Mark Fernandes, manager for Starr Restaurants’ Makoto in Bal Harbour Shops, has been named the new chairman of board for Miami Beach Gay Pride. The seventh annual installment of the popular community-wide event will take place April 9 – 12, 2015.
Prior to being elected chair, Fernandes served on the volunteer board as the secretary of the organization for the 2014 Pride. He has been active in the community for many years, including eight years at the Bond Street Lounge in the Townhouse Hotel in Miami Beach where he hosted an LGBT party on the hotel’s rooftop every month.
Longtime community advocate Cano returns as the executive director of Pride for the third year. As such, he will be responsible for the parade and festival production and logistics, event marketing and sponsorships, and supervision of volunteers and staff. In addition to Pride, Cano has been involved in World OutGames Miami, the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the Miami Beach LGBT Business Enhancement Committee and Winter Party Festival. As an advocate for the Hispanic community, he helped create Celebrate Orgullo.
Since its inception in 2009, Miami Beach Gay Pride has grown from a neighborhood event to an event on the global stage with A-list celebrities such as Gloria Estefan as Grand Marshal in 2014 and Adam Lambert performing in 2013. Attendance has grown as well. An estimated 15,000 spectators turned out for the first Pride parade in 2009; an estimated 100,000 attended the two-day event in 2014, which attracted not only South Floridians, but also visitors from throughout the world. In addition to Parade spectators, last April’s event included more than 100 parade contingencies, 35 floats and 2,000 participants. The Pride Festival which followed featured 145 LGBTQ-friendly vendors and businesses, plus refreshments, two stages of entertainment, a family-friendly play area and fireworks. Recently, Miami Beach Gay Pride was named one of the “Top 100 Events of the Year” for 2014 by BizBash Magazine.
The mission of Miami Beach Gay Pride is to bring together members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, their friends, allies, and supporters in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of the LGBTQ community. Miami Beach Gay Pride organizes free, safe, quality, mass-appeal events that are open to all, including the annual parade and festival, which features community booths and expo areas, stages with entertainment, food and drink vendors and family-safe play areas. Additionally, Miami Beach Gay Pride produces educational, cultural and entertainment events and activities throughout the year and sanctions official Pride-related events in order to create a truly celebratory experience for the whole community.
Miami Beach Gay Pride is produced with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority. For more information, visit www.miamibeachgaypride.com.