LGBTQ South Florida

Memorial Day weekend on Miami Beach: OutGames, salute to American heroes

From the OutGame website.
From the OutGame website. Miami Herald screengrab

In a first for a U.S. city, Miami Beach is hosting the World OutGames later this month, billed as a 450-event competition from May 26 to June 4.

The competition, which includes beach volleyball, a marathon and half-marathon as well as basketball competition, is a culmination of a multi-year effort to host the event locally. Previous hosts have been Montreal, Copenhagen and Antwerp.

A Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority news release said the “sports, the 10-day event features a range of arts and social events, including a main Festival Village at Lummus Park, live performances at the Colony Theatre, and a human rights conference featuring speakers from the United Nations.”

The event will also coincide with Miami Beach’s Memorial Day weekend, when Hyundai is sponsoring a May 27-28 event called “National Salute to America's Heroes” that promises an Air & Sea Show best seen between 11th and 14th streets featuring fly-bys and demonstrations of war planes, including bombers, fighter jets and the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights.

The human rights component of the event was scheduled to be held at the newly renovated and expanded Miami Beach Convention Center, but that won’t be completed in time.

Publicist Michael Goodman said Tuesday that the opening and closing ceremonies will be held next door at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave. and that organizers were closing in on a venue to hold the rest of the conference, with the goal of announcing it later this week.

The news release said the conference was inviting “the most powerful global gathering of respected human rights activists, researchers, legal scholars and organizations” but did not identify who had been invited, or who had accepted. Speakers were to include delegates from Cuba, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Miccosukee Reservation, it said.

“As a leading destination for LGBT-inclusiveness, Miami Beach is the perfect place for the first ever World OutGames in the U.S.,” Convention Authority executive director Grisette Roque said in a statement. “We’re honored to host the games and show athletes and dignitaries from around the world what makes Miami Beach so vibrant and extraordinary.”

Carol Rosenberg: 305-376-3179, @carolrosenberg