PHOTOS: St Pete Pride celebrates Red & Green 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | More than 650 festive St Pete Pride supporters filled Sunken Gardens Dec. 7 for the organization’s annual Red & Green Party.

Sunken Gardens is St. Petersburg’s 100-year-old living museum, housing some of the region’s oldest botanical treasures amongst its more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers. Attendees of the 10th annual holiday party explored its growing collection while enjoying a silent auction, appetizers, an open bar and a four-queen drag competition hosted by Tampa Bay entertainer Adriana Sparkle.

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PHOTOS: Parliament House’s courtyard gets lit for the holiday season

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Parliament House Orlando rang in the season with holiday cheer during its annual Light Up the Courtyard festivities Dec. 7.

After a lively dance number from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” stars Jack Skellington and Sally, Parliament House Entertainment Director Ms. Darcel Stevens called for all the trees in the courtyard to be lit up. Then attendees watched as Santa Claus, Mitzvah Moose, Krampus and other various holiday characters paraded down the courtyard with local LGBTQ organizations including the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band and Color Guard, Bliss Cares and the Orlando Youth Alliance.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ hosted by Nina West

By : Watermark Staff
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It’s the holidays and Watermark wants to gift you a pair of tickets to see some the most popular queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” this season!

“A Drag Queen Christmas” — hosted by Nina West and featuring Latrice Royal, Shuga Cain, Shea Coulee, William, Thorgy Thor, Lady Bunny and more singing seasonal classics and bringing that naughty holiday spirit — will be at The Plaza Live in Orlando Dec. 27 and the Straz Center in Tampa Dec. 29.

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Saxophonist Dave Koz talks music, touring and the magic of Christmas

By : Lora Korpar
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Saxophonist Dave Koz is spreading the Christmas spirit this holiday season with a new album and his 22nd annual Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour.

The multiple Grammy-nominated, openly gay jazz artist has been in the music business for nearly 30 years, keeping busy not just with his music, but with radio shows, cruises, wine and more.

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Southern Nights Orlando hosts 12th annual Broadway Christmas for The Trevor Project

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Southern Nights Orlando’s promotional art for the 12th annual Broadway Christmas performance (from Facebook)

ORLANDO | Central Florida LGBTQ nightclub Southern Nights will be hosting the 12th Annual Broadway Christmas cabaret with proceeds benefiting The Trevor Project.

Over 50 Central Florida entertainers will come together to perform comedy and music from some of Broadway’s most famous shows. The event is hosted by Kai’ja Adonis and Jose Marrero.

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Florida Puerto Rican Parade announces newly formed LGBTQ+ Committee

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) Vivian Rodriguez, Ralph Morales, Luis Martinez, Joel Morales, Jerick Mediavilla and Roxy Santiago after the LGBTQ+ Committee announcement at The Center in Orlando. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | The Florida Puerto Rican Parade and Festival has announced the formation of a new committee to help bring more LGBTQ+ representation and inclusion to its annual celebration.

The announcement, made during a press conference at The LGBT+ Center in Orlando Nov. 27, introduced the six-member committee who will be a part of the planning process of next year’s parade, festival and related events.

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Company manager Jose Solivan makes sure everything goes right for ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: “The Play That Goes Wrong” company manager Jose Solivan. (Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic)

The company manager for a national Broadway tour has a lot of responsibility.

“I’m basically the producer’s and the general manager’s representative on the road,” says Jose Solivan. “I deal with payroll, with travel, the housing, a lot of the marketing and advertising and playbill edit. I’m essentially HR, accounting, Mom and Dad, a shoulder to cry on.”

Solivan is the company manger for the national tour of “The Play That Goes Wrong,” a hugely popular show in where a fictional college drama society is putting on a fictitious murder mystery play where everything goes completely and terribly wrong.

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Central Florida, Tampa Bay organizations recognize World AIDS Day 2019 with events

By : Watermark Staff
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World AIDS Day is the first-ever global health day and has taken place every Dec. 1 since 1988. It is a day where the entire planet comes together to remember the nearly 40 million lives lost to the virus, but also to acknowledge those still living with the disease and to celebrate the advances made in fighting HIV/AIDS.

Several groups and organizations will be holding events on, and throughout the week surrounding, World AIDS Day in the Central Florida and Tampa Bay. We have gathered a list of events with information and links below for you to help raise funds, remember those we have lost, honor those living with the virus and places you can get tested.

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Elton John coming back to Florida in 2020 and tickets are now on sale

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Elton John performing at his first Orlando stop of the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour in March 2019. (Photo by Scott Kerill)

After iconic performances at Orlando’s Amway Center in March and Tampa’s Amalie Arena earlier this month, Sir Elton John is coming back to Florida with more concerts in May 2020, and tickets are available as of today. The 72-year-old legend announced Nov. 13 an additional 24 dates to his sold-out “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. The additional dates include stops in both Orlando and Tampa.

These new dates will close out the second year of the North American leg of John’s three-year world tour, which he says will be his final tour ever.

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Watermark Giveaway: Two Tickets for Melissa Etheridge at Ruth Eckerd Hall

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Superstar recording artist Melissa Etheridge has announced “The Medicine Show Tour” – and Watermark has your chance to win tickets to her stop at the newly-reimagined Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater!

Tickets for Etheridge’s tour went on sale Nov. 22. It begins next March in Illinois and will conclude in Clearwater May 1, 2020. Watch the tour announcement below.

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PHOTOS: Central Florida Zoo premieres 2019 Asian Lantern Festival

By : Danny Garcia
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SANFORD, Fla. | The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens previewed its 2019 Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild Nov. 19 before opening it to the public Nov. 20.

Based on traditional Asian lanterns, this outdoor exhibit features over 30 massive light-up sculptures, all handmade and lit by thousands of LED lights. One of the most impressive lanterns featured was the massive orange and red dragon that stretched for 200 feet.

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UCF, Valencia hold events in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Blue, white and pink flowers and candles placed on UCF’s famous Pegasus seal in the Student Union for Transgender Day of Remembrance. (Photo by Lora Korpar)

The University of Central Florida (UCF) and Valencia College both observed Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on Nov. 20 with events to honor victims of anti-transgender violence.

Valencia’s East Campus held an event with speakers, booths representing local LGBTQ organizations, performances and a candlelight vigil in which the names of the 311 transgender people killed around the world since last year’s TDOR were read aloud.

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