From coast-to-coast, Central Florida and Tampa Bay celebrate Pride in the fall

By : Jeremy Williams
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Many people think of the month of June when someone says Pride, but thanks to National Coming Out Day and the state’s cooler temperatures, October is fast becoming Florida’s big Pride month.

Whether you are looking to march through the streets or spend a few hours in the park with your friends, October has got a Pride for you.

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Sarasota Pride stays the course in the face of tragedy

By : Greg Stemm
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The shock waves that continue to ripple through the LGBTQ community in the aftermath of the tragic shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12 have had a profound effect on Sarasota Pride. In fact, according to Cindy Barnes, who has served as the head of Sarasota Pride for nine years, the event wouldn’t even be happening at all this year if Pulse hadn’t taken place. Sarasota Pride is scheduled from 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 15 at J.D. Hamel Park.

“The board of directors had already made the decision that Sarasota Pride in its current form would be suspended this year, and we would focus on producing four smaller events throughout the year,” Barnes says. “Actually I was on vacation out of state when I heard what had happened in Orlando. I felt right away that there was no way we could not have a full Pride celebration in light of what had happened. I got on the phone right away with board members and, with a full court push, we were able to obtain vendors and entertainers at the last minute and to move ahead with producing the event. But if Pulse had never happened, things would be a lot different with Sarasota Pride than they are now.”

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Sarasota’s Cindy Barnes celebrates final Pride as chairman

By : Jeremy Williams
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Cindy BarnesSarasota, Fla. — After six years as the chairman of Sarasota Pride, Cindy Barnes will step down after the festival in J.D. Hamel Park Oct. 17.

“This is my last year of running it. I will remain on the board, but you know I’m hoping someone will step up and take this over,” Barnes says. “It’s about 20 hours a week, and it’s, of course, a volunteer job, so I have to say the call for a leader has been out about six months and I have yet to hear from a soul.”

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Sarasota AIDS walk changes course

By : Staff Report
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Sarasota – For the ninth year in a row, Trinity Charities will present the Sarasota/Manatee AIDS Walk to support its HIV/AIDS programs. But this year, participants will embark on a brand new route on Saturday, Dec. 7.

No longer will the 500-plus walkers be confined to the campus of New College like in years past. This year, the two mile-walk will begin at J.D. Hamel Park and cross the iconic Ringling Bridge. Organizers hope that the change in route not only boosts participation, but exposure to the surrounding community.

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Sarasota gears up for largest outdoor Pride festival yet on Oct. 19

By : Steve Blanchard
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For the fourth year in a row, Sarasota Pride will display its rainbow colors at J.D. Hamel Park along the city’s waterfront on Saturday, Oct. 19. But the festival, which brought more than 5,000 people to downtown in 2012, is much older than four years old.

Sarasota Pride began in 1989 as an indoor festival and, over the years, found homes in several buildings, from a church, to an arena and even the Van Wezel. But organizer Cindy Barnes reinvented the festival in 2010, bringing out into the open and helping it grow in both vendors and participation.

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Five favorite performers kick off Sarasota Pride 2013 with a Showgirl Reunion

By : Michelle Rinaca
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Sarasota Pride returns to J.D. Hamel Park in downtown Sarasota on Oct. 19.

To help build excitement, organizers are throwing a “Prelude to Pride” event on Sept. 30 at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Fruitville Rd. Showgirl Reunion is an original comedy featuring five of the area’s most popular entertainers: Matthew McGee, Scott Daniel, Beneva Fruitville, Lindsay Carlton and special guest Joey Panek. It’s a combination of McGee and Daniel’s Scott & Patti Show, but incorporating the stars of Sarasota’s Drag Queen Bingo Bonanza.

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