Emmy Award-winning host of the popular nationally syndicated entertainment program Extra, Mario Lopez, will preside over the 2015 Miami Beach Gay Pride parade and festival as Grand Marshal.
As Grand Marshal, Lopez will lead the enthusiastic and colorful parade that is expected to draw more than 100,000 spectators on Sunday, April 12. The Miami Beach Gay Pride parade kicks off at noon along famed Ocean Drive between 5th and 15th Streets and will be followed by the Pride Festival with live performances from four stages, community booths and refreshments.
An ardent proponent of LGBTQ issues, Lopez is a long-time supporter of GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). His association with the organization includes participation in the GLAAD “Amplify Your Voice” anti-gay bullying PSA campaign, which ran in conjunction with Spirit Day, a national day set aside to remember gay teens who have been bullied. The “Amplify Your Voice” anti-bullying campaign was produced in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, GLSEN, the National Center for Transgender Equality and The Trevor Project. Lopez has also been a special guest and a presenter at several GLAAD Media Awards events.
“We are extremely excited about bringing Mario to Miami Beach for our seventh annual Pride,” said Mark Fernandes, chair of the Miami Beach Pride Board. “His personal charisma coupled with his universal appeal as a multi-faceted entertainer will delight Pride’s guests and help make this year’s event the biggest and best ever.”
In addition to hosting Extra, Lopez is the host of the nationally syndicated iHeartMedia radio shows On with Mario Lopez and iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez. Lopez is also a recurring commentator on HBO Boxing and he danced his way to the finals in the third season of ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars. Shortly after, in summer 2009, Lopez successfully completed his first run on Broadway, starring in the long-running hit musical A Chorus Line.
In September 2014, Lopez released his first autobiography, Just Between Us. In his memoir, Lopez shared successes and disappointments as well as never-before-told stories. Prior to his autobiography, Lopez became a New York Times bestselling author for his healthy eating guide Extra Lean (2010). In May 2011, he released the follow-up to Extra Lean entitled Extra Lean Family, featuring recipes and tips that are beneficial to the entire family. Additionally, Lopez penned Mario Lopez’s Knockout Fitness, a bestselling fitness book that offers readers a look into his workout regimen, and Mud Tacos, a vibrant children’s’ book he co-authored with his sister Marissa. As a follow up to Mud Tacos, Lopez released Mario & Baby Gia, a children’s book he wrote for his daughter Gia. The book is currently being developed into an animated series.
Even with all his other ventures, Lopez is still bitten with the acting bug. He reincarnated his guest-starring role as Dr. Mike Hamoui on the final season of F/X network’s popular show Nip/Tuck, where his run on the series garnered an instant cult following. He previously starred in the highest-rated program in ABC Family history, Holiday in Handcuffs. He also starred opposite Mark Consuelos in the made-for-TV movie Husband for Hire, which was the most watched program ever on the Oxygen Network.
Miami Beach Gay Pride has grown from a neighborhood event to an event on the global stage with A-list celebrities such as Adam Lambert performing in 2013 and Gloria Estefan serving as Grand Marshal in 2014. Attendance has grown as well. An estimated 15,000 spectators turned out for the first Pride parade in 2009; an estimated 100,000 attended the two-day event in 2014, which attracted not only South Floridians, but also visitors from throughout the world. In addition to Parade spectators, the April 2014 event included more than 100 parade contingencies, 35 floats and 2,000 participants.
The Pride Festival featured 145 LGBTQ-friendly vendors and businesses, plus refreshments, two stages of entertainment, a family-friendly play area and fireworks. Recently, Miami Beach Gay Pride was named one of the “Top 100 Events of the Year” for 2014 by BizBash Magazine and earned the Pink Flamingo Award for “Favorite Multi-Day Event” for the second year in a row.
For 2015, Miami Beach Gay Pride will become a full, two-day festival, April 11-12, and will include a Saturday beach party, women’s events and a community stage for South Florida artists to perform. Miami Beach Gay Pride is produced with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority. For more information visit miamibeachgaypride.com.