Come Out With Pride (COWP) is proud to announce the 14th annual Come Out With Pride Grand Marshals: Community Grand Marshal Nancy Rosado, and Talent Grand Marshal Carson Kressley. Grand Marshals are selected by the COWP Board members and are selected based on their service to the LGBTQ+ community. The parade will be held on Saturday, October 13, with the festival opening at noon at Lake Eola Park and the parade step off is at 4pm at Lake Eola Park. COWP is expanding to a full week of events designed to bring together the LGBTQ+ and allied communities around Central Florida and beyond.
“We are truly honored to have activist Nancy Rosado and International star Carson Kressley as Come Out With Pride Grand Marshals,” said Jeff Prystajko, board president of Come Out With Pride. “Rosado’s contributions to the expansion of LGBTQ+ and LatinX equality are unparalleled. Kressley is part of our community and stands for equality for all.”
Carson Kressley is an actor and designer. He was the fashion expert on the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy where he was one of the show’s “Fab Five.” He was also the motivational host of the TV show How to Look Good Naked and OWN‘s Carson Nation, as well as a contestant on season 13 of Dancing with the Stars. Since 2015, Kressley has been a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Nancy Rosado served as a Sergeant for the New York Police Department (NYPD). She has more than 35 years of combined professional experience in mental health care, law enforcement, community affairs and workforce development and training. During her tenure, she spearheaded the creation of the department’s mental health care response for on-scene first responders following the World Trade Center attack on 9/11. Currently, Rosado is employed with the University of Central Florida’s Restores Program, a program that focuses on the treatment of PTSD, as a consultant and outreach coordinator for the first responder community, survivors of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy and their families as well as the victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She is also involved with several nonprofits across Central Florida focused on furthering LatinX and LBGTQ+ communities.
This year, international pop star Betty Who will headline the brand new Pride Stage. Betty Who has elevated herself as a dance-music star with hits, including “Somebody Loves You”, “I Love You Always Forever,” “Human Touch,” and most recently the remixed theme song “All Things” for Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye.
Crystal Waters, one of Billboard Magazine’s top dance music legends, will headline the Amphitheater Stage. Waters, best known for “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” and “100 Percent Pure Love” boasts six ASCAP Songwriter Awards, three American Music Award nominations, a MTV Video Music Award nod and four Billboard Music Awards.
Frenchie Davis, will headline the Weekend Launch Party. Davis first highlighted her talents on American Idol, and she was in the Top 8 on NBC’s show “The Voice” and has performed on Broadway.
Since its inception in 2005, COWP has become Central Florida’s largest LGBTQ+ parade and festival. This year, COWP is expected to attract more than 160,000 visitors to the city of Orlando. Events for Orlando Pride Week, Monday, October 8 and run through Sunday, October 14, include:
Monday, October 8
Come Out With Pride and Zebra Coalition invites you to the Drag Race 5K at Harbor Park in Baldwin Park from 5–8 p.m. Put on your best colorful outfit, your favorite running shoes and get moving! Join several local Drag personalities and hundreds of participants as they run, walk and sashay their way through Baldwin Park.
Tuesday, October 9
Come Out With Pride and QLatinx present a screening of the Portuguese film MAR (The Sea) at the venue from 5-10pm. This award-winning short film portrays love, betrayal, and moving on from the harm inflicted by loved ones and depicts how every family has its many methods of coping with LGBTQ+ related situations and outcomes. Director William Vitoria will be conducting a Q&A immediately following the film. Light bites and refreshments will be available.
Wednesday, October 10
House of Pride at Ace Café from 7–11:30 p.m.In the past, the nightclub culture was the very place that many LGBTQ+ individuals could go and live freely. For one night only, one of Orlando’s premier dance clubs, The Edge, now ACE Café, will make a comeback and present the outrageous music, dancing and entertainment that paved the way for generations to come. Bringing back one of the most successful gay nights in Orlando would not be complete without the inclusion of some of Orlando’s top drag houses. Jose Xtravaganza will be performing.
Thursday, October 11
In partnership with the Thornton Park District’s Wine & Art Walk, Come Out With pride will take over The Veranda in Thornton Park for the annual Pride Weekend Launch Party from 6-11pm. Hosted by Orlando’s own Gidget Galone, the event will showcase a variety of entertainment and special performances from DJ Joanie as well as some of Orlando’s top LGBTQ+ performers. The event is free and open to the public. Guests can upgrade their experience with the Weekend Launch Party All-Access Pass.
Friday, October 12
Pride Block Party presented by Stonewall Bar Orlando from 7-11:30pm. Join Come Out With Pride and the surrounding neighborhood for a night of fun and camaraderie before the weekend festivities. Special appearance by LUCIANA.
Saturday October 13
Big Gay Brunch Hosted by Orlando Weekly at The Abbey; 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Start the day with an amazing brunch spread, bottomless mimosas, a Bloody Mary bar and live performances from local entertainers.
SponsorWalk & Pride Marketplace at Lake Eola Park from 12-7 p.m. is presented by Marriott, and will showcase businesses and organizations committed to diversity. The Marketplace expands in 2018 to stretch the length of Robinson Street adjacent to the park. Pride Takes Action, an initiative designed to connect festival-goers with advocacy groups, returns with more activities to educate and engage.
The Most Colorful Parade at Lake Eola Park from 4-6 p.m. is presented by SunTrust and is the most eagerly anticipated event of this year’s festival and will feature more than 100 groups spanning a 1-mile route through downtown Orlando. New this year are guest judges to help determine which entries will be deemed best of show. A community rally and two entertainment stages follow the parade to keep the energy going.
Pride Fireworks Show at Lake Eola Park at 9:30 p.m. marks the official close of the Come Out With Pride 2018 festival. A limited number of tickets are available for “Picnic Under the Stars”, where guests will receive a blanket and assorted food/drink to watch the fireworks from an exclusive and cozy area.
Sunday, October 14
Pride Recovery Brunch at Celine Orlando from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. where they invite you to enjoy Sunday Funday with Come Out With Pride for one last delicious brunch spread at one of downtown’s newest venues. While you recover, enjoy live music and performances from local entertainers.
For updates on the official 2018 schedule of events for Orlando Pride Week, visit their website or follow along on Facebook with @comeoutwithpride.
Come Out With Pride Orlando would like to thank its sponsors including Marriott (SponsorWalk & Pride Marketplace), Suntrust (Parade), Perry Ellis and Penguin (Pride Stage), Nissan (Pride Amphitheater stage), Banfield (PetZone), CFE Credit Union (ATM), Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Celebrity Cruise Lines (VIP Experience), Hilton Grand Vacation (Face of Pride Screen) and more than 50 additional organizations who are committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
About Come Out With Pride
Come Out With Pride, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization inspired to make an impact in Orlando’s LGBTQ+ community. Celebrated in October, Come Out With Pride welcomes everyone from Central Florida and beyond to come together and celebrate diverse communities. Come Out With Pride is also dedicated to supporting the community through grants and scholarships via its ‘Pride Gives Back’ program. For more information, go to comeoutwithpride.com.