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Sponsored by the Florida Gay Rodeo Association, the Sunshine Stampede caters to the country western LGBT crowd and is more than just a two-day rodeo for cowboys and cowgirls.
The event also draws thousands who enjoy the kickoff mixer party and a night of line-dancing, as well as the bull riding, barrel racing, calf roping and other competitive categories. While the focus of this festival is the dozens of documentaries and short films chronicling the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people, some come just for the fancy soirees.
As an added bonus this year, the parade has been moved to nighttime rather than its usual mid-day launch, giving attendees a relief from the heat and giving visitors more time to relax at BBQs, tailgates and parties during the dayl.
Held in the thick of summer, this event is possibly the hottest – both figuratively and literally – event in Florida.
Expect to see a lot of bearded, burly men and hairy chests filling the beaches, riding shuttles to and fro and taking advantage of special discounts at area bars and businesses.
This is a four-day Memorial Day weekend that never sleeps.
One of South Florida’s newest gay events, the Beach Bear patterns after California’s Lazy Bear Weekend and caters to the more rugged, outdoorsy types.Local and national bands entertain those at the outdoor market featuring hundreds of vendors, an array of food and cocktail booths and a large dance floor.The famous Aids Memorial Quilt typically makes an appearance at Pride South Florida – a must-see for those who have not viewed this powerful reminder of the AIDS pandemic up close.Fantasy Fest is like Comic Con meets gay pride, with a different theme for each year – superheroes, anime characters, cartoons.Don’t skimp on your costumes and makeup for this one and bring your camera!This week of fun includes watersports, hot tub parties, dancing, comedy shows, happy hours, trolley tours and other outings.For those looking for romance, there are plenty of mixers and matchmaking activities – in 2013, the “speed meeting” event at Pearl’s Patio Bar & Grill was a hit.The Tampa Bay Business Guild, the Bay Area Human Rights Coalition, and the Tampa Bay Gay Men’s Chorus come together to host this film festival, screened at the historic Tampa Theatre.While a few parties and galas surround the event, it is centered mainly on film and the arts, attracting a more cerebral crowd.This humongous festival draws around 100,000 marchers to the parade in downtown St.Petersburg's Historic Grand Central District, as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoying the area’s clubs and beaches.