Confetti streaming in all directions, whistles blowing in the ear. The triumphant roars of “Happy Pride” shake the foundations of the Dali Museum. The Pride March and Festival of St. Pete and Tampa Bay of June 22nd – 23rd proved a remarkable display of unity and solidarity.
The festivities were held in spectacular fashion. Between the metallic armored drag queens and the abundance of music and beads, it is extremely difficult to resist the throes of the passionate crowd. Even the surrounding locale seemed moved with spirit with the festivities, as rainbows and flags seem to sprinkle the city in a cascading spectrum of prideful colors. With aide of various businesses and companies, the event seemed able to fulfill it’s wildest dreams. I reiterate, it is difficult to avoid dancing along with a pirate ship of activists blasting “People Like Us” by Kelly Klarkson.
Overall, the event seemed a wondrous success. A true display of a united front of people from all histories, personalities, genders, and groups, under a common goal of ending discrimination and promoting the general wellbeing for all. It concluded, leaving a sense of understanding and celebration within all who participated.
Constructing the scene for one of the Parade exhibits proved to be an interesting affair. Meeting upon the lawn of a gracious landlord, it began quietly. However excitement proved to grow with each arriving member of the section, as people frantically adorned in designs that would cause Roy G. Biv envy, there was a sense of urgency to be found in the desire to ‘make the mark’. Of course, a singular float was not alone. Stretching between dozens and dozens of floats, each participant in the affair desired to make their stance with pride with grace and fiery passion. The atmosphere of dance, community, and collaboration was infectious, and spread to the locals passing by and leaving smiles in their wake.
The hard part, of course, would be the next section. The waiting. For some time, each member awaited for their chance to reveal their effort and emotion in the name of Pride with anticipation, undeterred by the suns rays. But once emerged into the open, with a sea of laughter, screams, and cheering, the wait became a dream come true for most. Suddenly, the march had put it’s supporters into the grand spotlight, and was received with flair. Songs rang through the night air, beads soared, and the words “Happy Pride” and other cheers could be heard from miles around.
As for the Festival, the sweltering summer sun of the sunshine state would not stop the rainbow fever. Food, games, arts, crafts, and a healthy plenty of flags stirred up the area, prompting a wonderful reception from the city. With teamwork of the individuals involved, the city became a celebratory sanctuary for all people.
The Pride of St. Pete and Tampa Bay is rich and powerful, it’s inspiring effect seen across seas and flatlands abound. With this display, we can see that the two cities have a powerful community, and will not stand for anything less than equality and understanding of all peoples.