St. Pete Pride

What's going on this year?

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Since its inception six years ago, St. Pete Pride has politely elbowed its way into the Bay area consciousness and taken up residence in our social calendars with its variety of gay-friendly events. This weekend, the organization celebrates its biggest, most well-attended occasion — The St. Pete Pride Street Festival and Promenade. Held in celebration of Gay Pride Month, the sixth annual fest features all manner of diversions along Central Avenue in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg, as well as a full schedule of related events that take place in the surrounding locale.

The fun kicks off with A Taste of Pride, St. Pete Pride's wine tasting fundraiser at which guests enjoy sips of red, white, blush and sparkling selections by Barefoot Wines, as well as tasty international bistro eats by Café Alma. Thurs., June 26, 6:30-10 p.m., Nova 535 Art Lounge, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg, $30.

Laughter in Paradise is the comedy segment of Pride weekend and this year's humor representative is ANT, the Last Comic Standing alumni and judge, host of a few wonderfully awful VH1 celebreality shows and arguably one of stand-up's most well-known gay comedians. His routine touches upon his experiences as a gay man, GLBTQ culture and all its trappings, family, sports, homophobia, his time as an airline attendant and plenty else. Lesbian comic Christine O'Leary opens the show, and an after-party with DJ Pride follows. Fri., June 27, 7:30 p.m. show, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. after-party, Nova 535, $50 in advance/$55 at the door (includes dinner, wine, a meet-and-greet with ANT and O'Leary, and admission to the after-party)/$10 after-party only.

A variety of entertainers, political leaders, organizations and businesses ride GLBTQ-themed floats or march in the Georgie's Alibi Promenade, which assembles on Saturday morning at 31st Street N. and Third Avenue N. in St. Petersburg and launches at 10 a.m., making its way toward the St. Pete Pride Street Festival between 20th and 28th streets on Central Avenue. Attendees are invited to participate in the unfurling and carrying of the world's largest Pride flag to the end of the street fest, where the promenade disbands and the festivities begin. Diversions include an array of info booths by local GLBTQ and GLBTQ-friendly organizations, free gifts, shopping opportunities, food and drink vendors, a children's play area, two stages of live music and entertainment by Una Voce, Ron Morris, Lorna Bracewell, Lexi Pierson, Canaan Band, Halcyon, Josh Zuckerman, Nancy Rancourt and several others. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, free admission.

Return to Babylon is a high-energy indoor/outdoor after-party that takes its cue from Club Babylon, a fictional gay club in the Showtime drama series Queer As Folk. Revelers enjoy an upstairs VIP Lounge with the stars of St. Pete Pride, live spins by Parliament House DJ Brianna Lee, live performances by dance music recording artist Sean Ensign, appearances by gay porn star/Falcon Films model Matthew Rush and gay media director, mogul and GayVN award winner Michael Lucas, live entertainment by the Black Light Flag Dancers and plenty more. Sat., June 28, 8 p.m., Nova 535, $20 in advance/$25 at the door.

For a complete list of St. Pete Pride events, further details, or to purchase tickets, visit stpetepride.com.

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