There’s a vibrant rainbow of acceptance taking over the Sunshine State throughout June as the Florida LGBTQ+ community celebrates St Pete PrideFest.
June is Pride Month across the US, in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, but there’s no better place to wave a rainbow flag than under the warm Florida sun. St Petersburg’s PrideFest (June 1-26, 2021) is a month-long celebration of members, friends and allies of the LGBT+ community, spread across four themed weeks. Make a weekend of it by booking one of Culture Trip’s curated collection of hotels and experiences.
Outdoor Adventure Week kicks off Pride Month under blue skies along the Tampa Bay waterfront. The Pride OUTside festival will feature live performances, yoga classes and other interactive activities. The 5K race and 100yd Diva Dash will get the morning off to a running start.
Family Week is close behind, starting on the following Saturday. Both North and South Straub Parks, as well as the St Pete Pier, invite adults and kids (and anyone who fancies it, really) to come together for this new PrideFest event – with family-friendly entertainment and activities throughout the week.
Next, Arts + Qulture is the signature event of Arts & Music Week. Located in St Pete’s Warehouse Arts District, the Factory will host an immersive musical experience while honoring Queer and Black Culture on Juneteenth.
The month concludes with the Taste of PrideFest Week; Monday through Friday, participating restaurants and bars will serve up select items for only $5. On Saturday, the Pride Picnic cooks up one final festivity with food trucks, street vendors, live music and fireworks at North Straub Park.
Since the first event in 2003, St Pete PrideFest has continued to champion the LGBTQ+ community by increasing awareness of the human-rights issues its members face. Both public and private entities join together to create a more inclusive and accepting spirit in every aspect of the greater Tampa Bay area.
Although you’ll be actively supporting the LGBTQ+ community by attending, the St Pete PrideFest is as much about entertainment and amusement as it is about activism. Children and adults of all ages, backgrounds and interests will feel part of the festivities, even if they’ve never engaged in any Pride celebrations before. Honestly, who would say no to finger foods and cocktails during sunset at the Sirata Beach Resort’s PrideFest Kickoff Reception? The PrideFest Stonewall Reception is another must-attend event, not only for the open bar, but for the opportunity to access the James Museum after hours.
Whether you’ve visited Tampa before, or new to the area, St Pete PrideFest is a vibrant opportunity to embrace every color of the bright local community.
No matter where you fall in the LGBTQ+ spectrum, the St. Pete-Clearwater area offers something for everyone. It goes without saying that the 2.5mi (4km) Clearwater Beach – the pearlescent pride of the west Florida coast – is worth a visit. Venture a little further north and Caladesi Island State Park will treat you to more white-sand beaches, as well as wildlife trails and mangrove kayaking that can easily jam-pack a weekend.
A stop at the Salvador Dalí Museum is another must for your itinerary. Art lovers will be distraught if they miss a glimpse at the Chihuly Collection, 1mi (1.5km) away, where you can marvel at the dazzling installations by Dale Chihuly, one of the pioneering artists of the studio glass movement.
Still lingering after Pride celebrations have ended for the day? Meander down to former Top Chef contestant Jeffrey Jew’s new restaurant, Lingr. An Asian and Nordic-inspired menu is set to debut at this upscale-casual eatery where everyone is welcome. If there’s more celebration left in your soul, boogie two blocks up to Enigma for dancing, drag shows and drinks among LGBT+ locals.