This Sunday, a tradition begun more than four decades ago—one that sparked and continues to energize the modern LGBT Rights movement—returns to South Florida and Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Gay Village, Wilton Manors. The Stonewall Summer Pride 2012 Street Festival kicks off at noon—sharp!—on Sunday, June 24. (For a complete schedule of acts, events, and other important information, visit stonewallsummerpride.com.)
The Gayborhood’s main “drag,” Wilton Drive, will be in all is festive—and savage!—splendor, with live entertainment, world-class DJ/Producers, delicious food and drink, over 125 exhibition booths, and an exclusive Children’s Pride Park. Later, the Stonewall Summer Pride Twilight Parade commandeers the Drive, with fabulous floats, decorative displays, and epic, eye-catching costumes. Immediately after the Twilight Parade, internationally-renowned performers take the stage for the Stonewall Summer Pride Concert, featuring headliner Andy Bell, the lead singer of Billboard Hot 100 act Erasure—called by Insound.com “the definitive synthpop superstars”—whose Top 20 hits include “A Little Respect,” and “Chains of Love.”
The event commemorates the Stonewall riots that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. The demonstrations are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the LGBT community fought back against what they perceived as a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement, both in the U.S., and around the world. Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark the original Stonewall riots.
Six-time Emmy® award-winning comedian Bruce Vilanch serves as Grand Marshal of the Stonewall Summer Pride Twilight Parade, which begins its spectacular cavalcade promptly at 7 p.m., with a parade route running along Wilton Drive, beginning on Northeast 20 Street, and running north to finish at Five Points. Vilanch’s appearance coincides with his starring performance in “Standing on Ceremony,” a collection of eight short plays dealing with the subject of marriage quality. (Performances run from June 21 to 24, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Equality Florida.
Stonewall Summer Pride 2012 is presented by the Rainbow Business Coalition (RBC), and the City of Wilton Manors. Reece Darham, co-chair of the RBC and managing director of Island City Health and Fitness, says that attendees to the event will be entertained by dozens of guest performers, including DJs Maximus 3000 and D-Stu and Maximus 3000. Champagne Bordeaux will showcase a tribute to Donna Summer, and Tiffany will offer a tribute to Whitney Houston. Other performances will feature Alyson Thomas, Asheeria Iconic Pryce, Ashiria, Estehania St. Lords, Krystal K, Mica Parish, Nicole Philips, and Vashai Avionce as well as the wonderful Jennifer Holiday (from the original Broadway cast of “Dreamgirls,” among numerous other international performances).
Immediately after the Twilight Parade, guests will be treated to exciting performances by Johnny McGovern—The Gay Pimp—and Mary Griffin, Patti Labelle’s Secret Weapon, followed by headlining performer Bell. Local favorite Misty Eyes serves as emcee for the concert.
Schedule of Events:
Noon Festival Opens
6:00 p.m. Jennifer Holiday performs (North Stage)
7:00 p.m. Stonewall Summer Pride Twilight Parade
8:30 p.m. Main Concert Begins
The RBC’s Reece Darham says that the City of Wilton Manors—through its operating arm, Lanier Parking—wants to promote walking, carpooling, and bike riding as alternatives to driving to the event, which is certain to attract a large volume of motor vehicles, with the accompanying traffic headaches for event planners and city officials. To alleviate this, they have put out the word that free parking is available at Kmart across from Scandals Saloon at Northeast 6 Avenue. All designated Official Stonewall Festival parking lots will be charging a flat fee of $10.00.
In addition, the Pride Center at Equality Park on North Dixie Highway has parking available for employees, sponsors, and volunteers of Stonewall. This must be arranged by obtaining a permit in advance of the event, at the parking office located at 517 Northeast 21 Court, Wilton Manors.
Wilton Drive Closed from 4 a.m., June 24 until 3 a.m., June 25.
South Drive—Soft street close at Northeast 16 Street, Fort Lauderdale; hard street close at Northeast 20 Street, Wilton Manors. North Drive—Hard close at Wilton Drive, Five Points; North Dixie Highway—rolling closures for parade.
Street Entrances Blocked for Limited Access
Wilton Drive (from Northeast 16 to 20 Streets)
- STAFF WILL BE AT ROAD CLOSURE AND DIRECTING CARS INTO SPACES
- STREET PARKING $10.00 ALL DAY
- PARKERS WILL BE INSTRUCTED TO REMOVE THEIR VEHICLE BY 1:00 AM
- DESIGNATED HANDICAP SPACES
Richardson Park 50 Parking Spaces VIP PARKING (BY ADVANCE PERMIT ONLY)
Northeast 21 Court and Woman’s Club
- PUBLIC PARKING- $10.00 ALL DAY
- 4 DESIGNATED HANDICAP SPACES
- RESIDENTS LIVING ON 21ST COURT WILL BE NOTIFIED OF CLOSING IN ADVANCE.
- GABLES PARKING PERMITS WILL ALLOW ENTRY.
Northeast 20 Street @ Northeast 21 Court GRASS LOT $10.00 ALL DAY
Hagen Park/City Hall LOT PARKING $10.00 ALL DAY; 10 DESIGNATED HANDICAP SPACES
Kids in Distress LOT PARKING $10.00 ALL DAY; EXISTING HANDICAP SPACES
Vacant Lot (Kids in Distress) $10.00 ALL DAY; TWO DESIGNATED HANDICAP SPACES
Iberia Bank Metered Lot PARKING $10.00 ALL DAY
Church of Spiritual Living
- SHUTTLE SERVICE
- LOT PARKING $10.00 ALL DAY
- EXISTING HANDICAP SPACES
Shoppes of Wilton Manors
- VALET PARKING 200 SPACES (COST TBD).
- EMPLOYEE PARKING IN REAR
- ACCESS NEEDED FOR GYM MEMBERS UNTIL NOON, THEY CAN SHOW ID.
Pride Center at Equality Park
- SPONSOR, VOLUNTEER, EMPLOYEE PARKING (NO CHARGE BY ADVANCE PERMIT)
- EXISTING HANDICAP SPACES
Maintenance Yard 100 Spaces LOT PARKING $10.00 ALL DAY; EIGHT DESIGNATED HANDICAP SPACES
Unity Church LOT PARKING $10.00 ALL DAY; 40 SPACES RESERVED FOR UNITY EMPLOYEES (BY ADVANCE PERMIT)
K-MART 200 Spaces FREE PARKING; EXISTING HANDICAP SPACES
TOTAL (ESTIMATED) SPACES = 1,620
13 STAFFED LOTS