Fort Lauderdale will be the inaugural location of Pride of the Americas in April 2020, an international LGBT festival that is expected to draw people from several continents, including South America and Europe.
The ten-day event will feature a beach festival with entertainment, parade, fireworks, a visual and performing arts festival, human rights conference, transgender health and lifestyle programs, business expo, dance parties for multiple communities within the LGBT community, and “Night on the Drive” hospitality events on Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors.
“South Florida is the gateway to Latin America,” said Richard Gray, senior vice president for LGBTQ markets with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a press release.
It’s estimated that the event could attract as many as 350,000 people, but Miik Martorell, Pride Fort Lauderdale president, said he’s not sure yet exactly how many people will attend. “I honestly don’t know what kind of number we can get. It’s a brand-new event.”
But it won’t happen without some sacrifice. Martorell said the annual Pride Fort Lauderdale event, which occurs in February, most likely won’t be held that year.
“We are only capable of planning one big event a year. I just don’t think it would be fair to do both.” He also said the availability of hotel space was a consideration in holding Pride of the Americas in April. “There’s just not enough hotel rooms available in February.”
Pride said it plans to partner with other LGBT organizations on the event, including the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, Stonewall National Museum and Archives, and the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center.
“We’re working very closely with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau; we’re also working closely with virtually every LGBTQ and mainstream organization in the community.” said J.W. Arnold, who handles Marketing & Public Relations for Pride Fort Lauderdale. “We’ve really pulled together a fantastic team that’s committed to making this experience amazing for everyone who joins us—from our service providers to our arts organizations to our educational institutions. Everyone in Fort Lauderdale is going to be involved in one way or another in Pride of the Americas.”