Come OUT and show off your colors for 4th of July weekend!

By : Rachel Dececco
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Get your sparklers ready, Central Florida and Tampa Bay have a variety events to kick off 4th of July weekend!

Whether it’s a day with the family, or a night at the club make sure to check out some of your local parks, museums and night clubs so you don’t miss out on the fun!

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

By : Jeremy Williams
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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.”

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Orlando remains united on the one-year mark of its most difficult time

By : Billy Manes and Sophia Mackrives
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In accordance with grief and tradition, Central Florida will be honoring the 49 lost at Pulse on June 12, 2016, with numerous events spanning more than a week.

This is by no means a complete guide to the memorials that will be going on – new ones appear daily – but this is a fairly broad guide for what it is you might want to do to reflect on that horrific day nearly one year ago. Likewise, we’re looking forward while looking back. If you visit actlovegive.org – Orlando United’s Day of Acts of Love and Kindness, a combined initiative between the county, the city, Pulse and other organizations – you will find plenty of ways to help in the ongoing cycle of trauma: volunteering, storytelling and donating. This is the part where you come in.

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Vote for your Orlando Fringe favorites in the first ever Watermark Splash Awards

By : Watermark Staff
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The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival kicked off its 27th year and, even though it’s only just begun, we cannot believe the amount of talent we’ve seen already.

The shows have started hitting us in our hearts, minds and funny bones; and we here at Watermark can’t decide which ones have been the best, so we are asking you, our amazing readers, to pick for us in the first ever Watermark Splash Awards.

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Only in our dreams!: Parliament House announces its GD2017 lineup and it’s pretty great

By : Billy Manes
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Sometimes we get lost in our eyes, sometimes we try to walk away and we choke. This time, this year for the annual GD2017 festivities, Parliament House has just announced that it is really going to take care of us in these moments.

As has been rumored for a bit here and there, Parliament pulled out some big ticket choices this time around.

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Sandwich Fundraiser for The Dru Project to be held at Pom Pom’s

By : Felicia Roopchand
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Head over to Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria this Valentine’s Day to help raise money for The Dru Project. They will be graciously donating $1 to The Dru Project from every Sweetheart Sandwich sold.

The Dru Project is an LGBTQIA advocacy organization on a mission to spread love across the nation and promote gay-straight alliances. They are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the state of Florida. The organization was created in memorial to Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen and his partner Juan Ramon Guerrero, who were among the 49 killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting.

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Planned Parenthood lists resources for marches this weekend

By : Billy Manes
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There’s nothing clever to be said here beyond the resonating jokes about the president-elect and the Alec Baldwin impersonations on SNL that make us feel like we’re laughing while crying. BUT! BUT! BUT! Not giving up is part of life, and we can’t really give up on minority rights, women’s rights and LGBTQ rights, can we?

To that end, there are some fairly well publicized marches in the works for the Trump inaugural weekend. Below, after the jump, you can find ways to get involved. This info comes from Planned Parenthood, which stands to lose any federal funding if the incoming administration has its way. There are events in most of our readership areas, as well, of course, in Washington, D.C. Know what you can do, where you should be and how you should act in the face of adversity. This isn’t just a march for women, it’s a march for all of us. Hold tight. We’ll get through this.

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Lisa Lampanelli ticket giveaway ahoy! Enter now … like, NOW!

By : Billy Manes
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We could all use a little bit of laughter during this time of our shady glances and crossed fingers, so Watermark is giving away two tickets to Lisa Lampanelli’s Orlando show at Hard Rock on Friday, Jan. 20!

Don’t be insulted, just laugh at the pieces. The queen of mean promises to bring some super-shady fun to the area on inauguration weekend – so much more fun than the existential crisis we’ll all be enduring under an orange fop of hair on a figurehead.

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Pride. Prejudice. Protest.: Preserving Orlando’s GLBT Community History in a Digital Age event Saturday

By : Billy Manes
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In what is being called a “history harvest,” the UCF History Department, the GLBT History Museum, and UCF’s RICHES Project, a digital platform for historic documents and photos, will be at Orlando’s GLBT Center from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, hoping to collect any bits of LGBTQ historical value – yes, they are giving them back to you after they are scanned – for an ambitious project meant to create a comprehensive online hub of perpetual posterity. Any old news articles, bits of memory, photos from formative Pride parades and filigree are welcome. You can also record an interview for an oral history video that is being developed. In times like these, it’s important to remember where we came from and how far we have come. Donors will also receive free digital copies.

Watermark Giveaway: Family Fun Pack to OTRONICON at the Orlando Science Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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GET YOUR TRON ON!

Watermark is giving away two (2) Family Fun Packs (4 tickets in each set) to visit the Orlando Science Center for OTRONICON running January 13-16.

OTRONICON lets you explore the science, art, technology, careers and fun behind simulation, robotics, video games, virtual reality and digital media. Each year, multiple industry partners join Orlando Science Center to celebrate how digital media technologies impact the way we live, learn, work and play.

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Watermark’s 2017 WAVE Awards – nomination round

By : Watermark Staff
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It’s that time of year again, time to do the WAVE!

Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, best known in these parts as the WAVE Awards, look to award the best in both the Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area LGBTQ community in the realms of activism, service, fun and more.

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Remembering Pulse six months later

By : Watermark Staff
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Though it still remains so fresh in our minds and equally hard to believe, the six-month marker of the hate crime that shook Orlando, and indeed the whole world, is coming quickly.

Monday, Dec. 12, several events will be popping up to honor the 49 killed and the 53 injured on June 12 at Pulse Orlando. Some of us at Watermark are still numbed by the incident, and many in the community are still grieving. But, as we do, we will carry on with vigilance and with respect for those who left us far too soon in far too ugly a manner.

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