PRIDE Fort Lauderdale Kicks Off in High Fashion

The four-day Pride Fort Lauderdale celebration, culminating in the first ever parade down A1A, kicks off in high fashion on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. with a glamorous runway fashion show at the Hard Rock Event Center at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

The star-studded fashion show will be hosted by fashion guru Carson Kresley (original “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “Dancing With the Stars”) and Naomi Smalls, (“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 4 All-Star). The event will showcase creative garments by talented alumni of “Project Runway.”

The high-energy presentation will utilize male, female, transgender and drag models sashaying across the runway in avant-garde outfits. Music will be provided by equally outrageous drag DJ Power Infiniti.

This is no mere runway show as fashionistas are invited to an exclusive pre-show trunk sale at 7 p.m. where they can meet the designers and purchase one-of-a-kind couture garments.

Pride Fort Lauderdale will hold a public casting call for male, female, transgender, drag and nonbinary models on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Terrace Ballroom B at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Models of all ages and body types are encouraged to audition.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to get the party started,” said Pride Fort Lauderdale President Miik Martorell. “Fashion has always been an interest to the LGBT+ community and our Pride Runway Fashion Show provides an opportunity to spotlight the diversity of our community. That’s why we’re featuring designers who are LGBT+ and straight allies, and putting out a public casting call for male, female, transgender and drag models to participate.”

A cash bar will also be available, along with a silent auction and 50/50 raffle to benefit Pride Fort Lauderdale. Tickets for the Pride Runway Fashion Show range in price from $27 to $67. All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at MyHRL.com, TicketMaster.com or charge by phone 1-800-745-3000.

Pride Fort Lauderdale, the oldest Pride organization in Florida, celebrates its 42nd anniversary in 2019. The first festivals, organized as Pride South Florida, were protests, born out of the successful 1977 referendum campaign waged by entertainer and evangelical activist Anita Bryant to overturn a historic gay civil rights bill passed in Miami-Dade County.

In 2017, Pride Fort Lauderdale moved to Fort Lauderdale Beach and in 2019, the organization will host the first parade in city history on SR A1A along the beach. For more information, go to PrideFortLauderdale.org.

Pride Fort Lauderdale Event Calendar

Saturday, Feb. 2
Casting Call 10 a.m. – 4 p.m
Pride Fort Lauderdale will hold a public casting call for male, female, transgender, drag and nonbinary models in the Terrace Ballroom B at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Models of all ages and body types are encouraged to audition

Thursday, Feb. 21
Runway Fashion Show, Hard Rock Event Center
7 p.m. Trunk Show, 8 p.m. Fashion Show

Friday, Feb. 22
Pride on the Drive – 6 p.m.
The party moves to Wilton Manors where dozens of bars, restaurants and shops will be rolling out the rainbow carpet for a casual celebration in the “gayborhood.” Enjoy drink specials, discounts and live entertainment at participating businesses, all night, up and down Wilton Drive.

Stonewall National Museum & Archives Gala – 7 p.m.
The Stonewall National Museum & Archives marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots at its annual gala at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale Beach. Actress and activist Kathy Najimy (“Sister Act”) will be the guest speaker for the gala, which also includes a silent auction, dinner and entertainment.

Saturday, Feb. 23
Drag Brunch – 11:30 a.m.

Pride Fort Lauderdale teams up with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival for a fabulous drag brunch at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale Beach. National radio personality Elvis Duran will be your host, along with his fiancé Alex Carr and emcee Shawn Palacious (aka Kitty Meow). There will be delectable dishes created by local celebrity chefs and performances by the region’s top drag queens. Tickets are $125 each.

B3: Bear Beach Bash – 12 p.m.
Party the afternoon away with music and entertainment by “My Big Funny Peter,” the world’s first gay muscle bear comedian, Peter Bisuito, as your host. Hot muscle bear go-go dancers and more on the Sebastian Beach stage! Get there early and you’ll be in a prime location to watch the very first Pride Fort Lauderdale “Carnaval” parade, too!

Carnaval Drag & Dine Parties – 12 p.m on
The festival gets started early at the many hotels and restaurants along SR A1A (and you can beat the traffic for the parade). Participating businesses and parties thus far include Spazio (SheTea from 3-7pm), Tsukuro (Dine + Drag Show 12pm -7pm) and Cafe Ibiza (Absolut LaTEAno from 3-7pm), who will be offering entertainment, drink and food specials all afternoon.

Carnaval Parade – 5:30 p.m.
Pride Fort Lauderdale is hosting its first Pride parade this afternoon along scenic SR A1A from Sebastian Beach to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. This is the first parade ever held on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Get there early as more than 80,000 spectators are expected along the route.

Pride Block Party – 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

After the parade, head to 5th St. and SR A1A and dance the night away while enjoying live performances by your favorite local drag queens, musical acts and internationally-acclaimed DJs.

Sunday, Feb. 24

Beach Festival – 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Celebrate Pride on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Visit exhibitors and food vendors, enjoy music and performances on two stages and stick around for the stunning fireworks show at 7:45 p.m. American Idol’s Ada Vox and Todrick Hall perform live on stage, along with top DJs. More than 50,000 people are expected for the festival. Free admission, $5 donation requested at the gate.

For more information on all Pride Events, visit PrideFortLauderdale.org.