If this is your first time at Miami Beach Gay Pride, you're in for more than just a parade. The nearly weeklong festival comprises a series of events, parties and performances. This year will also feature a special tribute to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Headed to South Beach for the festivities? Here’s everything you need to know about watching and walking in the parade, plus what to expect over the next few days.
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Pride Lights the Night
Beginning Thursday, April 6, approximately 34 structures throughout Miami will be lit in rainbow colors in memory of the Orlando shooting victims and their families. More than 10 other buildings will fly a rainbow flag in solidarity throughout the week as well.
• Pulse Nightclub survivor Mario Perez will kick off the luminous memorial at a public ceremony on Lincoln Road (nearest Pennsylvania Avenue), Thursday, April 6, at 8pm.
• On April 6 at 8:30pm, Cuban-American poets Richard Blanco and Carlos Pintado will host a reading at the Betsy hotel during its lighting ceremony. Blanco will close the event by reading “One Pulse – One Poem,” which he wrote to honor those lost. The event takes place in the Española Way alley adjacent to the hotel's new Poetry Rail and Betsy Orb.
Miami Beach Gay Pride Beach Party
Lummus Park in Miami Beach will transform into one giant pride celebration on Saturday. The day-long beach party will feature performances by Kym Sims, DJ Deanne and Beth Saks. The festivities take place beachfront. (Ocean Drive between Fifth and 14th Sts, Miami Beach. Noon–10pm; free)
Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade
Approximately 130,000 people attended last year's Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade, a huge number compared to the 15,000 who participated in 2009. TV host and comedian Ross Mathews will be this year's Grand Marshal; Elvis Duran and the Morning Show’s Uncle Johnny will serve as Advocate Marshals; and Activists Liebe and Seth Gadinsky will be the parade's Ally Marshals.
• The parade is Sunday, April 9, and begins promptly at noon.
• For the fifth year in a row, Miami Beach Gay Pride will award the most creative float/participants in the parade.
• The parade is happening rain or shine, so make sure to bring an umbrella and wear sunscreen.
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