The 10-day festival set for April 17 – 26, 2020 will include a parade, a beach party, arts festival, social events throughout the Fort Lauderdale, and a human rights conference focused on LGBT+ rights.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, the festival’s presenter, announced at the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association’s conference in Toronto May 23. Pride of Fort Lauderdale will host the event.
The event will draw attention to the issues LGBT+ individuals face in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Organizers hope the event will bring attention to the issues and inequalities LGBTQI Latin Americans and Caribbean individuals face. At the same time, they hope to improve education and understanding of the LGBTQI community on a global scale, according to media reports.
“A lot of people in the Caribbean are literally being killed for who they are,” Miik told the Sun-Sentinel. “Many have moved here to avoid being beaten and killed. This will be an opportunity to enlighten people about what they’re facing.”
Event organizers are aiming to attract 350,000 people to attend the new pride event, J.W. Arnold, who handles marketing and public relations for Pride Fort Lauderdale, told TravelPulse.
Currently, organizers believe the event will replace Pride of Fort Lauderdale, the annual queer festival that has been held at the Fort Lauderdale Beach within the past couple of years, reported the Sun-Sentinal.
Organizers hope to piggyback on the Tortuga Music Festival and the Miami Beach Gay Pride events, both of which are in April, Miik Martorell, president of Pride Fort Lauderdale, told the newspaper.
Celebrating LGBTQI Community
“Greater Fort Lauderdale has been at the forefront of LGBT+ sensitivity and issues for decades and we look forward to continuing to lead the way by bringing together experts for this important and thought-provoking event,” Richard told eTurbo News.
Fort Lauderdale has been a pioneering destination in LGBTQI travel under the visitors’ bureau’s direction since 1996 and the global headquarters of the IGLTA, the LGBTQI travel association.
The city and surrounding area has seen 1.5 million LGBTQ visitors spend $1.5 billion at its hundreds of queer-owned and operated businesses and cultural institutions and other favorite tourist attractions, the online travel outlet reported.
Fort Lauderdale is also home to one of the largest Pride Centers in the country, The Pride Center at Equality Park; the world’s first World AIDS Museum and Education Center, and the Stonewall National Museum and Archives, one of the only permanent spaces in the U.S. devoted to exhibitions relating to LGBTQI history and culture.
The city is home to the highest concentration of same-sex couple households in the country with a large diverse LGBTQI community.
The Pride of Americas Festival will join the Southern Comfort, an annual transgender conference, and Pride Fort Lauderdale the city’s premiere LGBTQI events.
“We worked extremely close with Pride Fort Lauderdale to develop the concept of this important and transformational event,” said Richard Gray, vice president, LGBT+ Marketing with the visitors’ bureau.
“The Pride of Americas Festival joins the Southern Comfort conference as two of the most important LGBT+ events to take place in our destination,” he added.
J.W. told TravelPulse the pride event staff have been working with partners in other countries and Fort Lauderdale’s visitor’s bureau which has offices in New York, Brazil, and Europe to spread the word about the Pride event.
Desire & Vision
The desire to host a Pride of the Americas grew out of Pride Fort Lauderdale’s loss of it’s bid to host WorldPride in 2021, according to Richard, reported the newspaper. The desire was to mirror EuroPride to attract visitors from the Western Hemisphere to the city.
If the Pride festival is successful, Miik envisions hosting the Americas Pride Festival every three or four years, he said.
J.W. told TravelPulse that Pride of the Americas could be held in other destinations in the future.
“So, it might be in Fort Lauderdale in 2020, but it could be in Brazil or Argentina or Chile or Costa Rica or Canada two years later,” he said, but he wasn’t certain.
Miik expressed his excitement for hosting the city’s Pride festival at the beach next year.
Fort Lauderdale Pride’s festival and parade theme for 2019 is “Carnival.”
“We will be presenting our first pride parade and the very first parade along Fort Lauderdale Beach. Pride 2019 is going to be an amazing weekend for all,” Miik said.
Historically, the festival was hosted in February, instead of April, at the War Memorial Auditorium and tents in Holiday Park, but for the past two years it has been held at Fort Lauderdale’s Beach Park.
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