After several years’ hiatus, Tampa Pride made a triumphant, Best of the Bay-winning return in 2015 with a splashy throwdown that filled Centro Ybor and environs almost to overflowing. Now organizers are going even bigger.
The parade will sashay down Seventh per usual, but the festival has been moved east from Centro to Centennial Park, where the Saturday Morning Market will get the added boost of Pride-friendly vendors in and around the Park, including an entertainment stage, three beer tents and a Family Zone. The mood of Pride celebrations last year on both sides of the bay verged on ecstatic due to the advances in marriage rights. With this election year making it imperative that the LGBT community and its allies fight to make sure these advances aren’t reversed, expect just as raucous and happy a time in 2016. This year’s highly deserving Grand Marshals are Lorraine Langlois, CEO of Metro Wellness and Community Centers; Russell Rhodes, co-anchor of Fox13’s Good Day Tampa Bay; and gawjis celebrity photographer Mike Ruiz of Logo’s A-List. Also plan to applaud vigorously for entertainers like the ever-lovely Alexis Mateo, Miss Tampa Pride; rising hip-hop/R&B star Shadina; Una Voce Men’s Chorale; and Coco Montrese from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Festival: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Centennial Park; Parade: 1 p.m. kickoff at 7th Ave & Nuccio Blvd. (12th St.), Ybor City, Tampa. Free. tampapride.org.