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Plans announced for 2021 St. Pete Pride Fest

Bill DeYoung

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St. Pete Pride President Nathan Bruemmer speaks to the media as Mayor Rick Kriseman looks on. Photo by Bill DeYoung

Two small white dogs ran along the Vinoy Park seawall Monday afternoon, leashes trailing, stopping every so often to look into the water and bark happily in tandem. They were following a trio of dolphins swimming in formation not 10 feet from water’s edge. Whenever the dolphins surfaced, the dogs stopped and barked.

At the same time, Mayor Rick Kriseman and Nathan Breummer, president of St. Pete Pride, were taking turns behind a bevy of microphones announcing the city’s 19th annual Pride Fest, a monthlong series of events that will kick off June 1.

They stood at a podium in front of six colorful Pride flags, which undulated gently in the balmy bayfront breeze. Tall white sailboats passed back and forth in the distance, between the park and the photogenic St. Pete Pier. In a cloudless sky, the occasional small plane buzzed overhead on its way to the Albert Whitted field.

Just another postcard St. Pete day.

“We have those dolphins on retainer,” Kriseman joked.

Pride, created to celebrate the community’s LBGTQ+ community, is usually centered around a massive parade, which – because of the ongoing pandemic – will not take place this year. Sure, 2020 wasn’t much to talk about (there were no live events at all), but the 2019 St. Pete Pride Fest attracted an estimated 265,000 persons – it’s been the largest such happening in Florida since 2010, and it’s officially one of the biggest in the country.

“Celebrating Pride is more than just the parade, and it’s more than just the events,” Kriseman said. “It’s what it represents, and how it defines us as a community. We think of ourselves as a community that is diverse, tolerant and welcoming … and recognizing the important role that the LGBTQ community plays here in St. Pete is, to us, really important.

“And that’s why we were trying to figure out ‘How do we move forward with Pride this year, and do it in a way where everybody who comes in to participate can do so and feel safe in the middle of this pandemic?’”

Bruemmer announced the schedule for this year’s event (details TBA):

Official Pride Flag Raising: June 1 10 a.m. City Hall

PrideFest Kickoff Reception: June 3 6 p.m. Sirata Resort

Pride Run St Pete 5K and Diva Dash:  June 5  7 a.m. Vinoy Park

Pride OUTside:  June 5  6 a.m.-2 p.m. Vinoy Park

We Are Family: June 12 11 a.m.  St. Pete Pier, North Straub Park, South Straub Park

Stonewall VIP Reception: June 18 The James

Arts + Qulture: June 19 The Factory 11 a.m.

 

St. Pete Pride website

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