St. Pete Pride is spreading its wings, so here are sparkling details of all the big events for the weekend

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 2

It’s no secret that for the first time in its 15 years, the St. Pete Pride parade is moving from the Grand Central District and heading downtown, but that isn’t the only change to the schedule.

“There are always lots of events during Pride month and this is the first year that we actively went out to recruit events from all over Pinellas County,” St. Pete Pride Executive Director Eric Skains says. “We have an extensive list of events compiled from all this information we received, and they are all amazing events.”

Some of the events are the same – a St. Pete Pride reception at the Museum of Fine Arts, the St. Pete Pride Street Festival in the Grand Central District, and the Glamstands on the parade route. Some events are the same but in new locations, such as the parade and the SP2 concert, and some of them are brand spanking new like the Trans March and a fireworks show.

Have no fear. We have a breakdown of all the events, where they are happening and what you can expect from the 15th anniversary of St. Pete Pride.

St. Pete Pride Reception

Wednesday, June 21, 7-9 p.m.

Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg

The official St. Pete Pride weekend kicks off Wednesday (you didn’t think a Pride weekend as fabulous as this one was just two days, did you?) with the reception at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. “That’s our VIP reception,” Skains says. “But it is open to anyone who wants to come out and mingle with our sponsors and special guests.” Tickets are $30 and the event features an open bar and light hors d’oeuvres. Space is limited so get your tickets to this one fast.

St. Pete Pride Rooftop Kickoff

Thursday, June 22, 7-9 p.m.

Kimpton Hotel Zamora, 3701 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach

What better way to spend your Thursday evening then on the roof of the beautiful Kimpton Hotel Zamora on St. Pete Beach at the Castile Rooftop Bar. Take in the sprawling landscape of the Gulf of Mexico and the intercoastal waterway or check out the sights a little closer to you as the rooftop party is always filled with the most beautiful people St. Pete has to offer. Get ready to feel like a Kardashian as you sip cocktails, listen to live entertainment and feel that seabreeze blowing through your hair. Admission is free.

The SP2 Concert

Friday, June 23, 7-10 p.m.

North Straub Park, 400 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg

The SP2 concert is still the Friday night staple but it will have a new location. “The concert will be in North Straub Park right across the street from the Vinoy Hotel,” Skains says. “The concert will consist of performances from some of the best musical acts Tampa Bay has to offer, including Melissa Crispo, Geri X and The Spazmatics. The concert is free admission, and beverage sales from the concert will benefit the St. Pete Pride Community Grants Program.

St Pete Pride Celebration, Parade and Fireworks

Saturday, June 24, 2-10 p.m.

Along Bayshore Drive NE, Downtown St. Petersburg

Saturday is packed full of events from breakfast time in the morning to bedtime sometime long after midnight. “So it is lined up to be a full day of activities for people to be able to experience St. Petersburg and downtown,” Skains says. “The day will actually start with brunch before the Pride celebration along Bayshore Drive. Local performer Matthew McGee will be hosting a brunch at Jeffrey Jew’s Stillwater Tavern on Beach Dr. N. starting at 11:00 a.m. The St. Pete Pride Celebration begins at 2 p.m. in North Straub Park. “We will have live entertainment on our stage all the way to the start of the parade,” Skains says.

A new addition to the celebration, and a first for the state of Florida, St. Pete Pride’s TransPride March, sponsored by Equality Florida and its transgender inclusion initiative TransAction Florida, kicks off ahead of the Pride parade at 6 p.m. and will start at Albert Whitted Park. “So it is part of the parade even though it is walking in an opposite direction than the rest of the parade,” Skains says. “We do it that way so people can participate in both; people can march in the parade and be marching in the direction where all the floats will be lined up the rest of the parade to go.” That location is at Vinoy Park, the end of the TransPride March and the beginning of the St. Pete Pride parade.

The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. in Vinoy Park and heads down Bayshore Drive toward Albert Whitted Park. “We are looking at about 150 groups marching in the parade plus the Grand Marshals,” Skains says. “So we should have about 160 participants in the Pride parade this year, which would make it our largest parade ever.” The night parade, only the fifth Pride parade in the country to have its parade in the evening, will have Bayshore Drive lit up with twinkling lights and glow sticks, and St. Pete Pride is offering two VIP viewing experiences.

The Glamstands will be located on the parade route in North Straub Park with easy access to a private bar, gourmet food, party-starting DJs and private bathrooms. You not only get front row seating to the parade but you also get a premiere view of the fireworks happening after the parade. Tickets for the Glamstands are $50 for a single ticket and $600 for a private booth that fits 10.

Another option is the Bleachers at Straub. Also located on the parade route in North Straub Park, the Bleachers offer you an exclusive cash bar, quick access to food, private bathrooms and viewing area so you won’t miss a moment of the action. Single tickets for the Bleachers at Straub are $25.

St. Pete Pride Street Festival

Sunday, June 25, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Grand Central District, Central Avenue, St. Petersburg

The celebration wraps up on Sunday with St. Pete Pride’s Street Festival in the Grand Central District. The street festival runs down Central Avenue from 31st St to 22nd St. and will be split into three sections: the Grand Central Market, an Art Walk and the Food and Exhibitors area. Something else a bit different this year: there’s a lot more entertainment. “Each bar that has the capability of hosting a stage will be the official stages of Pride,” Skains says. Four stages will be set up on Central: one at Punky’s, one at Queenshead, one at Old Key West and one at Dog Bar. St. Pete Pride’s Street Festival is one of the largest community events in St. Petersburg all year, attended by tens of thousands of people, so come out ready to party and make some new friends.

For more information on these and other official St. Pete Pride events throughout June, visit StPetePride.com.

Share this story:

  • Robie Cruse-Curnow

    A real shame that NOTHING is planned for Grand Central District on Friday, considering that’s been the celebration’s REAL home all of these years! Most importantly, we LGBTQs have been welcomed into the Kenwood neighborhood/Grand Central District where they show their support year-round, Not so. at numerous places along ‘new’ parade route. Some seem concerned, ie: “Love the potential gay $$ headed our way, but not the gays that will be spending it”. Also, thought Pride was OUR celebration to be ‘open’, not in a fenced area to be gawked at by those that don’t approve? In this hate-filled political time we are currently living in, serious problems may arise. There’s no mention of an ‘area’ where the haters will be cordoned off as in years past? Don’t enjoy the thought of being the ‘main’ attraction for the Beach Drive set.

  • Michael Williams

    How exciting to finally be able to celebrate Pride along the gem of St Pete, the gorgeous downtown waterfront! Kudos to the board for the courage to move us out of comfortable but sequestered Grand Central and into downtown’s center stage. The time to grow into a fully integrated part of the St Pete community has arrived!