By Kaylee Haskell
The fifth annual Tampa Pride parade will be held in Ybor City on March 30. This year’s theme is milestones – celebrating members of the LGBTQ+ community in Tampa and the surrounding areas.
While the main attraction, which is the diversity parade, is on Saturday, the Tampa Pride organization has a full schedule planned for the upcoming week through the weekend. Pride activities began in January and will conclude on March 31.
Thursday, March 28–Tampa Pride 2019 VIP Sponsors Party
If you’re interested in dressing up and learning about who is behind-the-scenes of Tampa Pride, purchase a ticket to the VIP Sponsors Party. Held at the Florida Aquarium from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., guests will be able to enjoy appetizers, a cash bar, music and an opportunity to win round-trip tickets to Key West. The Tampa Pride 2019 Grand Marshals will be introduced as well as the special VIP Sponsor. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online at tampapride.org.
Friday, March 29–Support the Sponsors Night
Support the Sponsors Night is a pregame for festivities taking place on March 30. While there is no set schedule for the night, attendees are encouraged to visit various bars and restaurants across Tampa and surrounding areas that support Tampa Pride. From Sparkman Wharf in Channelside to Brandon’s Hamburger Mary’s, there will be food, drink specials, music and good company. At Honey Pot in Ybor City, DJ Barry Harris will be performing and there are $1 and $2 drink specials starting after 10 p.m.
Saturday, March 30–Street Festival
The Street Festival will be held from 9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the HCC parking lot on the corner of 8th Avenue in Ybor City. There will be a concert, food truck alley and games all day and is open to the public. There will also be a health and wellness fair at the festival, with representation from over 25 different organizations including Tampa General Hospital and the Florida Department of Health. There will also be an Artisans Fair that will showcase local artists and their work.
Saturday, March 30–Diversity Parade
The Diversity Parade will begin at the corner of Nuccio Parkway and 7th Avenue at 1 p.m. and go through the heart of Ybor City. The parade will last two hours and will feature nonprofits, local sponsors and individual businesses via floats and walking groups. Announcements will be made on the Hamburger Mary’s balcony next to Centro Ybor, as well as a community tribute to begin the parade. Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be honored during this time, in addition to the Tampa Bay Pride Band.
Saturday, March 30–Family Festival
If you are attending the pride celebrations with children, or just want to get your face painted, there is a Family Fun Zone Festival being held at the corner of 14th Street and 9th Avenue. This children-friendly alternative to the Pride Festival will feature clowns, games, prizes, costumed characters, arts and crafts and more.
Saturday, March 30–Tampa Pride 2019 at Night
After the festival and parade concludes, stick around Ybor City to enjoy the city’s largest party of the year. Open until 3 a.m., guests are able to visit sponsors and surrounding businesses and take advantage of their music, performances and drink specials. Whether you’re front row at Bradley’s Diva Drag show or enjoying $2 drinks at Southern Nights – find your spot to enjoy the vibrant community.
Sunday, March 31–Tea Dance
On Sunday afternoon, guests can visit Sparkman Wharf participate in their first annual Tea Dance from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Water Street Tampa and Tampa Pride are teaming up to host a post-pride party filled with live entertainment, brunch, drink specials and surprise guests. There will also be a send-off dance party for the Melissa Etheridge Cruise III toward the end of the evening.
Kaylee Haskell can be reached at email@example.com