Stacy Ritter, a former Democratic politician and the president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale knew that she had to do something big to distinguish Fort Lauderdale from what was happening in Florida. So she came to California and enlisted 45,000 flowers; a raft of Brussels sprouts; the nephew of the late Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials; and what amounts to a two-hour televised ad — also known as the 135th annual Rose Parade — that is viewed by millions. Visit Lauderdale had its first Rose Parade float, complete with rainbow umbrellas and a slogan that Ritter believed counteracted DeSantis’ march to the right: “Everyone under the sun.” She hopes that the float at the Rose Parade helps people understand that their perception of Florida and what the news headlines say about Florida is different from reality. The float was a symbol of how diverse and inclusive this destination is. Part of that diversity included a special musical performance of the new Greater Fort Lauderdale Theme song. It also featured rainbow smoke as part of the live national television performance. Harvey Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk was a special guest on the float. The Visit Lauderdale team spent about $790,000, including registration and materials for the float, to bring its creation and message to life. It was an effort the Broward County community wholeheartedly supported. Queer News Tonight has followed this story closely and noted that there has been significant national news about this float. Unusual for any news about a single float, but the media has focused on the context of Florida and the destination wanting to welcome the nation despite the politics of the state. In related news, Gay Mormon American Idol star David Archuletta opened the national television broadcast of the parade and we will be seeing him soon on Wilton Drive in February for the Rock The Block Festival. The float was the first in the history of the Rose Parade to have such a commitment to diversity and inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community.