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Five Questions: Dave Cook

Miami Beach Gay Pride’s Executive Director sits down with Hotspots

Now in its ninth year, Miami Beach Gay Pride welcomes hundreds of thousands of members of the LGBT community from around the country to the shores of Miami Beach. This year, the weekend long MBGP will take place from Friday, April 7 through Sunday April 9 at Lummus Park. With just two weeks left until the big event, I was lucky enough to have lunch with Dave Cook, who is spending his second year at the helm of what is one of the largest events on Miami Beach each year.

  1. This is your second year as the Executive Director of Miami Beach Gay Pride, is it better the “second time around?”

Absolutely! Even though I have spent many years involved with MBGP, once I had the first year under my belt, I have learned what to expect. The execution, with the help of an amazing team has been so rewarding this year.

2. Tell our readers about some of the special things that have been planned for this year’s Pride?

First and foremost we have four marshals for the festival this year. We will honor them at our VIP reception at W South Beach on Friday, April 7. We are proud to honor comedian and TV personality Ross Mathews as our Celebrity Marshal, Uncle Johnny from Elvis Duran Morning show as our Advocate Marshal, and Miami Beach’s own Seth and Liebe Gadinsky as our Ally Grand Marshals.

3. How are organizers able to ensure that Miami Beach Gay Pride remains a free event?

With the wonderful support of our sponsors, the City of Miami Beach, the Mayor, commissioners and volunteers and so many others, we are able to provide a free and safe event for everyone. We spend the entire year raising funds and working full time to make sure we can pull off such a feat. Around the country, other Pride Festivals rely on ticket fees but we have been so lucky that with our great organization we have been able to keep the event free.

4. What can residents and visitors expect as far as entertainment this year?

Our presenting sponsor, Celebrity Cruises has been working hard on special main stage performances for Saturday and Sunday. We have expanded our TD Bank North Latin Stage this year. We have 90’s divas Kym Sims and Janice Robinson as well as Peppermint from the upcoming season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Our headliner for Sunday night is platinum selling singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha. She will take over the main stage at 9 p.m. before the fireworks and a special tribute Prince.

5. Is there still time to get involved with Pride?

Yes. It isn’t too late to become an official sponsor. We also have a few parade entries and expo booths available.  You can always volunteer, it takes hundreds of volunteers to make this event a success. If you would like to get involved in any way, give us a call at 305-496-7635 or email us at info@MiamiBeachGayPride.com or visit our website MiamiBeachGayPride.com.

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