PHOTOS: Orlando Fringe Preview Show

By : Danny Garcia
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Orlando Fringe’s annual preview shows give Fringe-natics an opportunity to view a two minute presentation to see what’s in store for this year’s festival. Broken into two categories, General Audience & Mature Audience – both shows are always well attended. The General Audience was hosted by Eric Pinder & Mature Audience by Rob Ward as Pepe.

This year’s preview was filled with dancers, contortionists, a Russian dog shot into space, a fabulously flamboyant Frog/Pig hybrid, ghosts and ghost-bustin’ Shakespearean performers. The performers ranged from the very young in the Xanadu Jr. production, to the young at heart with the Downtowners, a group of musically inclined senior citizens.

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PHOTOS: Spooky Empire

By : Maia Monet
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This past weekend the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive played host to the annual spring edition of the Spooky Empire horror convention. Fans dressed-to-impress in their scariest attire to peruse the pop-culture vendors and artists selling their wares. They also lined up to get inked in the tattoo hall and meet their horror heroes Linda Blair, Tim Matheson, Peter Riegert and Matthew Lillard.

The much anticipated costume contest took place on Sunday with entrants dressing up as Bride of Chucky, Mrs. Pennywise, Ash from the “Evil Dead” franchise and Norma and Norman Bates. The coveted “Best in Show” prize was won by a trio of villains from the “Scooby Doo” animated series made flesh by the talented team of Jon Lee and Eric Leas from Bad Moon FX.

Check out the photos from the weekend and costume contest after the jump.

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Come Out With Pride announces new board president

By : Jeremy Williams
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New Come Out With Pride board president Jeff Prystajko.

ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) announced the appointment of Jeff Prystajko as the board’s new president March 19 after Brian Riha completed his two-year term in the same position.

Prystajko has been with COWP for several years, most recently serving as director of marketing and communications. He has also held leadership positions with both the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA Orlando) and the Human Rights Campaign in Orlando.

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PHOTOS: Protest at Pulse after trial verdict

By : Maia Monet
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After Noor Salman was found not guilty on all charges today, protesters made their feelings on the verdict known at Pulse. As cars passed by honking their support, the protesters stood stoically and silently carrying signs that read “We will not let hate win.”

More photos after the jump below.

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Babes in Bonnets sets record in fundraising for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Babes in Bonnets, The Parliament House’s annual Easter fixture, set a fundraising record bringing in $32,171 for the Orlando Youth Alliance March 26.

The previous record was set last year when Babes in Bonnets brought in $28,000 for OYA.

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PHOTOS: Manatee Pride celebrates its fifth year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Bradenton | The Manatee Pride Festival held its fifth annual LGBTQ pride event on March 17 at the Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion.

New and returning vendors surrounded the event’s main stage, allowing attendees the perfect view of the event’s performers. Entertainment included area favorites like Divine AF, an ensemble from The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Beneva Fruitville and Johnny Sparks.

Darwin’s Brewery and Tap Room once again provided the signature Manatee Pride beer, event sponsor CAN Community Health offered free health screenings and Watermark was on hand to help celebrate. You can check out some of our photos below.

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PHOTOS: Tampa Pride 2018

By : Maia Monet
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Tampa | The 4th annual Tampa Pride occured March 24 in all its glory on the streets of Ybor City. Leading things off in the morning was the Festival Marketplace on the campus of Hillsborough Community College Ybor. Filled with vendors, artisans, churches and theater groups, there was a lot to take in and enjoy for the rainbow-bedazzled public greatly enjoying the perfect early spring weather.

The action shifted in the afternoon to the Diversity Parade led by Grand Marshals Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw, Jane Castor and Christopher Sean. As the parade participants slowly made their way down 7th Ave. through the heart of Ybor City, they were met by thousands of cheering people dressed-to-express their LGBTQ pride and waving rainbow as well as transgender pride flags. Watermark was lucky enough to have a float in the parade and capture some of the sights for your viewing pleasure. Check out our pics after the jump below.

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PHOTOS: Project No Labels kicks off Tampa Pride at City Side Lounge

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | Project No Labels helped kick off Tampa Pride on March 23 at a transformed City Side Lounge for the group’s first Pride Legacy Awards.

The awards highlight local leaders, individuals and businesses who dedicate themselves to the LGBTQ community through time and/or resources. The night was hosted by area favorite Mayven Missbehavin’ and featured food from local restaurants, free shots from Tito’s Vodka and a wide array of entertainment.

Aerial artists, fire performers, vocalists and some of Tampa Bay’s best drag performers dazzled the crowd—and Watermark was on hand to help celebrate. You can check out some of our photos below.

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PHOTOS: The Florida Aquarium kicks off Tampa Pride

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | The Florida Aquarium hosted a Tampa Pride kickoff party on March 23, treating attendees to penguins, performances and pride.

Presented by Brier Grieves Insurance, the event featured an open bar with signature cocktails and began with full access to the aquarium’s many exhibits. Area favorite Stephanie Shippae performed, and the evening even included a special visit from the aquarium’s African penguins.

Watermark was on hand to help celebrate—and you can check out some of our photos below.

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PHOTOS: WAVE Awards Party 2018 Central Florida

By : Jake Stevens
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The 2018 Central Florida WAVE Awards Party at Celebration Gardens was a star-studded event. Local dignitaries Patty Sheehan and Anna Eskamani attended along with entertainer Blue Star and the WAVE award winners. Providing the entertainment were Doug Bowser, Miss Sammy, Lacie Browning, Gidget Galore and the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band and Color Guard. It was a chilly night, but the copious outdoor heaters, fire-pit and adult beverage offerings, kept everyone warm.

Check out the rest of the photos after the jump.

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PHOTOS: WAVE Awards Party 2018 Central Florida Step-and-Repeat

By : Jake Stevens
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Celebration Gardens was the site of the Watermark 2018 WAVE Awards Party for Central Florida. The “favorite” winners as voted by you, our readers, came out to be honored and mingle with their fans. Watermark was on hand to capture the special moment the awards were bestowed.

Check out the rest of the photos after the jump.

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PHOTOS: WAVE Awards Party 2018 Tampa Bay – Step and Repeat

By : Jake Stevens
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Watermark held our WAVE Awards party for 2018 in Tampa Bay at Hamburger Mary’s on March 8. Some of Tampa’s award winners and fans came out to celebrate with us and pose for our cameras.

Check out the rest of the photos after the jump.

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