Miami Beach Pride Week, from April 4-10, is a chance to bring the South Florida LGBT community together.
The grand marshal of events will be Elvis Duran and his guest of honor will be Iggy Azalea. American Idol winner Jordin Sparks will be the headlining performer during Sunday’s festival.
This year’s Gay Pride Week will be the first since the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the United States. To recognize this milestone, the Pride Parade will have two floats featuring Miami Beach Gay Pride Legacy Couples who have been together 10 years or more. A reception for these couples was held Tuesday at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens.
“We have a few couples who have been together over 50 years,” said Dave Cook, executive director of Miami Beach Gay Pride. “They are so happy and they were almost crying at the excitement of actually being officially married after years and years.”
The Legacy Couples are always very well received by the crowd and it just shows that gay couples can be in a long-lasting, loving relationship. It’s one way to get that across to the outside world.
One of those Legacy Couples is Greg Martin, 59, and Paul Wilson, 72, who are currently in a domestic partnership. Martin and Wilson have been together for 37 years and this year will be their seventh year as a Legacy Couple at Pride Week.
“The Legacy Couples are always very well-received by the crowd, and it just shows that gay couples can be in a long-lasting, loving relationship. It’s one way to get that across to the outside world,” Martin said.
Miami Beach Gay Pride has also expanded its Angels Program to donate money to The Point Foundation this year. The Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBT students. Angels membership will benefit this organization.
Pride Week will begin at 6 p.m. Monday with the raising of the rainbow flag at Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Dr. City officials and the Miami Beach Gay Pride Board will officially open the “Week of Pride” at the ceremony.
This year’s Miss Miami Beach Gay Pride pageant will be held at Score Nightclub (1437 Washington Ave.) on Monday and will include a silent auction from 8 to 11 p.m. The event will honor Athena Dion, who was Miss Miami Beach Gay Pride 2015.
The Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade will be from noon to 2 p.m. April 10 starting on Fifth Street and Ocean Drive. Streets will be blocked off starting at 11:30 a.m., except for 10th Street. Once the parade begins, the only way to cross will be on Fifth or 15th streets.
“We have a very strong LGBT community in Florida and this is a free space environment for all, and Pride is inclusive to everyone — from different cultures, backgrounds, ages. Everyone’s here to enjoy themselves,” Cook said.
For a complete list of Pride Week events, visit www.miamibeachgaypride.com.