The inaugural Pride of the Americas presented by Visit Lauderdale and Pride Fort Lauderdale takes place February 10-12 in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The main event takes place on Saturday, February 11, and is moving to the heart of Fort Lauderdale Beach at Las Olas Intracoastal Promenade Park, 80 Las Olas Circle just off Las Olas Blvd.
The Pride of the Americas Parade presented by Midland Family & CAN Community Health will step off at NOON on SR A1A (affectionately renamed “GAY1A” for the event) along Fort Lauderdale Beach and proceed south to the Pride of the Americas Festival at Las Olas Intracoastal Promenade Park, 80 Las Olas Circle. The Grand Marshals for the Pride of the Americas Parade will be local travel and tourism icon Ina Lee, transgender activist Rajee Narinesingh, and Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner, and former Vice Mayor Steve Glassman.
Organizers of the event noted that the honorees have all helped to make South Florida a vibrant home to the LGBTQ+ community and a welcoming destination for visitors.
Ina Lee is the owner and publisher of TravelHOST Elite magazine, now in its 42nd year, and championed efforts to elevate the visitor experience on Fort Lauderdale Beach. She founded the Winterfest Boat Parade, the largest boat parade of its kind in the world and a signature event for the city each year at Christmas time.
Rajee Narinesingh is a transgender activist, spiritualist, actress and reality TV personality who has appeared on more than 35 national and international talk shows (“Dr. Phil,” “Anderson Cooper,” “Good Morning Britain”) to discuss her journey and experiences with dangerous black market silicone injections marketed to the transgender community.
Steve Glassman is the Fort Lauderdale former Vice Mayor and City Commissioner for District 2, which includes Fort Lauderdale Beach. Commissioner Glassman was sworn in for his first term in March 2018 and re-elected in 2020.
“We’re truly excited to honor these three deserving people as grand marshals of the Pride of the Americas Parade,” said Miik Martorell, president of the event organizer, Pride Fort Lauderdale. “Each has made significant and lasting contributions to both our community and making Fort Lauderdale a safe and welcoming place for LGBTQ+ people. We know everyone will be gratefully cheering them on as they lead the parade.”
Following the Parade, the Festival, which opens at 1pm, features internationally acclaimed DJ/Producers Paulo and Manny Lehman and the festival concludes with their headliner Boy George in full concert at 7:30pm till closing at 9pm.
Gary Santis Events will be producing the main stage and when I asked Gary what we should expect he said, “In addition to great performances by celebrity Grammy Award winner Boy George, and music by superstar festival DJ’s Paulo & Manny Lehman, expect to see 12 ft. pride winged angels, led drum sets, contortionists, pride fire angels, spectacular dance tributes to the countries of the America’s, shows to include Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez and the best of the best impersonators! Expect to be wowed at this year’s Pride Of The America’s!”
“Even though we’ve consolidated the schedule, the Pride of the Americas experience will still be amazing. The festival will continue to include a VIP experience, TransPride, internationally acclaimed DJs, and up to 70 vendors,” says Miik Martorell. “And, of course, we have the legendary Boy George and big surprises planned as we celebrate Pride right here in the gateway to the Americas.”
Pride of the America’s events will kick off on Friday, February 10 with Pride on the Drive presented by Visit Lauderdale, in association with Midland Family & CAN Community Health, Gilead and AHF, is an outdoor event with two stages taking over the Shoppes of Wilton Manors parking lot. The Hunter’s Nightclub Stage will feature acclaimed international club DJ/Producers Thunderpuss (Chris Cox and Barry Harris) and is produced in association with Wilton Manors Business Association and Hunter’s Nightclub. The Alibi Stage is a Pride Fete Takeover, featuring Caribbean music and entertainment produced in association with Wilton Manors Entertainment Group.
The weekend of events will conclude on Sunday, Feb 12 with the Pride Splash Pool Party and T-Dance from 12 – 5 p.m. at Rock Bar Day Club, 220 Almond Ave. on Fort Lauderdale Beach. The event will feature DJs Deanne and Alex Acosta.
We also asked Miik Martorell what he sees for the future of Pride Fort Lauderdale, and he said: “We have been so fortunate for the incredible support we’ve had from the community and sponsors. With their help, we’ll continue to build our festival and parade and add additional events throughout the year.”
The Pride of the Americas Parade is free and open to the public. Pride on the Drive tickets are free when you register on our website. Festival general admission tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the gate. There are a limited number of tickets available for the VIP experience. For the Sunday Splash Pool Party tickets are $15 for General Admission and $85 for VIP. For a full schedule and tickets, go to prideforrtlauderdale.org.
Pride Fort Lauderdale is a non-profit organization serving the LGBTQ+ community for over 45 years. Pride Fort Lauderdale’s mission is to bring awareness and unite the LGBTQ+ community through its annual Pride Festival and Parade.