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Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival: Celebrating Love, Acceptance, and Inclusion in Wilton Manors

Posted at 8:34 PM, Jun 23, 2024

Every June, Wilton Manors transforms into a vibrant spectacle of color to host one of the largest Pride celebrations in Florida, the Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival. This event grows bigger and better each year, drawing in over 50,000 people to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community.

Wilton Manors, known as the "gayborhood" of South Florida, is one of only two such neighborhoods in the United States. "The city's identity is the LGBTQ+ community," says Jameer Baptiste, Event Division Director of HOTspots and Stonewall Pride organizer. Jameer emphasized the importance of this event to the area's cultural fabric.

The Stonewall Pride Parade and Street Festival commemorate the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a pivotal event in the gay rights movement. The riots began on June 28, 1969, after police raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City, leading to six days of protests and clashes with law enforcement.

The festival provides a safe and inclusive space for people to express themselves freely. For many, like one attendee who shared their experience, the first time at Pride was about "self-acceptance, self-love, and being a part of the community." This celebration is filled with music, food, and over 100 vendors lining the blocks of Wilton Drive, creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere.

As the sun sets, the party continues with the festival’s first-ever electrifying Glow Night Parade. The rainbow colors of the Pride flag shine even brighter, lighting up the night with a stream of illuminated floats, vehicles, and walking groups. This dazzling display honors the historic Stonewall Riots and the beginning of the LGBTQ+ human rights movement, highlighting how it has shaped the community.

"Pride just means being yourself, accepting other people for who they are, and loving everybody," said one Wilton Manors resident, summarizing the event's core message. The entire event celebrates love, acceptance, and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community locally in South Florida and across the globe.

For more information on Pride events year-round, visit hotspotsmagazine.com/events.

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

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