In its 26th year, Lake Worth will be awash in the rainbow flag this weekend for Palm Beach Pride, the lone LGBT pride festival for the county.
“We’re the largest visibility event and outreach event for the LGBT community,” said Julia Murphy, the chief development officer at the Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center, which hosts the event. “I would say that Palm Beach Pride is different because it’s very community oriented. It’s not the biggest pride, but we come out in numbers.”
The event began in 1992 in West Palm Beach, then was moved to Lake Worth in 2000. Last year, the weekend festival drew 25,000 people from all over South Florida and even out of state. The festivities begin on Saturday, with the kick-off to the festival in Lake Worthy’s Bryant Park. There’s plenty of entertainment scheduled, including the Pride Steel Band, South Florida Pride Marching Band, Voices of Pride, Velvet Lenore and Miss Palm Beach Pride, and more. On Sunday, the headliner isBillboard Play artist CeCe Peniston.
For the 1-mile-long parade on Sunday, 15,000 people clamor to watch the floats prepared by more than 100 organizations and businesses. At the head of the parade will be grand marshals Glen Weinzimer and John Rogatzki, the founders and producers of the SMART Ride, an annual 165-mile bike ride from Miami to the Florida Keys to raise money for HIV/AIDS causes, including Compass.
Each year, there is a different theme surrounding the weekend—for 2018, it’s Rainbow Resistance.
“It’s really just promoting our community coming together and standing in solidarity,” Murphy explained. “Anyone that’s ever gone to Pride, that feeling— you feel alive and you feel that you’re united with a group of people.”
Pride of the Palm Beaches, March 24 and 25 from noon to 6 p.m. at Bryant Park, Lake Avenue and Golfview in Lake Worth; 561/533-9699; compassglcc.com. Tickets to the festival are $8 in advance, $10 the day of.