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St. Pete Pride Set To Return In June

Daylina Miller/WUSF
There won't be a single parade like 2019, instead, separate St. Pete Pride events will be hosted throughout the month of June.

After being cancelled last year due to COVID-19, the St. Pete Pride celebration will be back in June with some changes.

The last time St. Pete Pride took place in person -- in 2019 -- the parade drew about 265,000 people.

Last year’s event was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, to avoid a large gathering, Florida’s largest LGBTQ+ celebration will be spread throughout the month of June.

St. Pete Pride returns as legislatures around the country, including Florida, work to pass controversial laws that would ban transgender females from participating in girls’ high school and college sports.

At a press conference announcing the details Monday, St.Pete Pride President Nathan Bruemmer spoke out against the state’s bill, which passed the Florida House Wednesday.

“We are seeing in Tallahassee right now more significant anti-trans rhetoric and hate than we have ever seen and experienced before,” said Bruemmer.

A Senate committee was scheduled to discuss the bill Wednesday, but that was postponed.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman also spoke Monday about the festival, and he says St.Pete Pride is an essential part of the city.

“Celebrating Pride is more than just a parade,” said Kriseman. “It’s what it represents, and how it defines us as a community.”

Each week will feature a theme that will culminate in a scaled down signature event on the weekend.

The celebration will begin with “Outdoor Adventure Week,” which will end June 5 with a number of running events like the 100-yard Diva Dash -- a short sprint where participants will be wearing heels and their best diva outfits.

Week two will be “Family Week,” where families in the LGBTQ+ community will be able to gather and enjoy performances at the St. Pete Pier, North Straub Park, and South Straub Park on June 12.

The third week will be about arts and music, wrapping up on June 19 with “Arts and Qulture,” a music and dance event that will take place in the Warehouse Arts District at The Factory.

The celebration will wrap up with a food and drink themed week called Taste of PrideFest. Local restaurants will be participating, as well as food trucks and other vendors. The week will wrap on June 26 with a firework show.

Masks and social distancing will be required.

“We wanted to move forward with pride this year,” Kriseman added. “We want to do it in a way where everyone can come and participate and be involved, but feel safe in the middle of this pandemic.”

Tickets for each event cost $5, and will go on sale May 1.

I am a WUSF Rush Family/USF Zimmerman School Digital News Intern for the spring 2022 semester; this is my second internship with the station.