(Photos by SylvesterQ.com, Howard Zucker)

Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale Beach will be awash with burly Bears late summer 2021 when the first annual Bears Takeover Wilton event takes place.

The mega-event, an action-packed week of activities, pool parties and themed events celebrating the international Bear Community, is scheduled for August 27 through Labor Day, September 6.

Organizers are still finalizing details, but Bears Takeover Wilton is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the area. More than a dozen events will be packed between a huge kickoff party at a Fort Lauderdale Beach venue and what promoters are calling “an over-
the-top pool and dance party” on Labor Day.

Other events during Bears Takeover Wilton include a Bear Week contest produced by the South Florida Bears as well as a Bear and Leather Ball.

“This is the event the Bear Community wants and needs, and we think it will become a new fixture on the international gay social calendar,” said Chuck King, general manager of the Eagle on Wilton Drive who is helping to plan the event in collaboration with WMEG Community Marketing and Events and Hotspots. “We are looking at this as the first annual international celebration of the Bear Community — and it’s happening in Wilton Manors!”

“Numerous local bars will be holding events, local gay guest houses will enjoy high occupancy and we expect Wilton Manors restaurants, shops and other businesses will all benefit from this event. This is how we stimulate commerce in our city and have fun at the same time,” said Peter Jackson, president and publisher of WMEG and Hotspots Media, who created the event. “This is a collaborative effort with numerous local business establishments that will allow visitors to shop, play, eat and discover Wilton Manors and South Florida, hopefully injecting millions of dollars into our economy. Everyone wins.”

Tickets for Bears Takeover Wilton events go on sale March 15 at WMEG.org/bears and start at $20 for individual events.

WMEG Community Marketing and Events is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that produces more than 40 events a year including its signature event, the annual Stonewall Pride Parade and Festival. The organization is dedicated to promoting Wilton Manors and South Florida as a welcoming LGBTQ destination through marketing and events.