Pride Month is underway across the Suncoast with an array of parades, activities, parties and other events celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
Michael Saunders & Company embraces inclusivity and diversity and is proud of the MSC Foundation’s support of local nonprofits that support LGBTQ+ youth, including ALSO Youth, which believes “you should celebrate who you are, what makes you unique and why you matter.” The organization was created in 1992 by individuals who were alarmed at high rates of suicide among gay and lesbian teens. ALSO Youth’s advocacy, leadership, support and outreach services and the number of youth it serves have steadily risen over the years.
The Sarasota City Commission recently presented Project Pride SRQ with a proclamation naming June as Pride Month, recognizing the city’s commitment to being a more inclusive and welcoming community, celebrating the progress that has been made in securing equal rights for our LGBTQ+ residents, and acknowledging the work that remains to be done. Project Pride SRQ’s mission is to expand awareness and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community by creating strategic partnerships with local organizations, businesses and governments toward a shared goal. Its vision is for an all-inclusive community where everyone is equally united, supported and celebrated.
Here are some local events and activities celebrating Pride Month throughout June:
Through June 7, Ringling Bridge light display. Check out the rainbow-colored light display on the Ringling Causeway Bridge beginning each evening around sunset through June 7.
June 1-30: Taste of Pride. Participating local businesses are offering discounts to customers who mention Taste of Pride when ordering. Visit ppsrq.org/taste-of-pride-2022 for a list of participating restaurants and businesses.
UTC has partnered with Project Pride SRQ to host community events and parties throughout the month at On the Green, 140 University Town Center Drive:
June 2 | 7-9 pm: Drag Bingo with Beneva Fruitville
June 8 | 5:30-6:30 pm: Zumba Pride Party
June 9 |8-10 pm: Loud & Proud Dance Party with DJ Brianna Lee
June 16 | 5-9 pm: The monthly outdoor market celebrates Pride Month with live music by Moxy Stardust Band and over 40 LGBTQ+ local vendors.
June 30 | 6-8 pm: Pride Picnic with live music by Matthew Ragas Band, food trucks, games and more.
Other area events include:
June 4 | 7-10 pm: The Grand Carnival. Project Pride presents an ICONic evening at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, featuring exciting visuals, performances and LGBTQ+ history. There will be musical tributes to Cher, Tina Turner, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. Tickets are on sale at the-grand-carnival.ticketleap.com.
June 11 |11 am: Pride Car Parade. The third annual car parade celebrating Pride Month returns to downtown Sarasota, featuring vehicles decked out with Pride colors and decorations. Prizes will be awarded for the best-decorated vehicles. The parade starts near Main Street and N. School Ave. and ends near Bayfront Park. Register at ppsrq.org/carregister.
June 18 | 9-10 am: Pride Pet Parade. Bring your furry friends to the second annual Pride Pet Parade at Bayfront Park. Project Pride SRQ will give out prizes for the best-dressed pups and felines. Register at ppsrq.org/pet-parade-2022.
June 25 | 7:30 pm: Grand Flag March. The Grand Flag March begins at Hart’s Landing and proceeds across the John Ringling Bridge, where a 700-foot Pride flag will be unfurled over the bridge. Register at ppsrq.org/event-details/the-grand-flag-march.