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Pride Promenade

Everybody loves a parade: the floats, the music, the gay people.

The gay people?

That's right. The St. Pete Pride Promenade, a procession through the Historic Kenwood and Grand Central neighborhoods, marks St. Petersburg's first ever publicly recognized gay pride celebration.

Led by a City of St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue Department Color Guard, the parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 28, and organizers anticipate it lasting approximately two hours.

And while this St. Pete Pride celebration is less extravagant than those of Tampa Bay Pride, the parade represents more of the grassroots, community-strengthening ideals that Pride events are based on.

Among the more than 60 organizations and individuals registered to march are the St. Petersburg Times, Grand Central Station, The Pro Shop Pub of Clearwater, The Suncoast Resort, Garciga Travel and groups from several religious organizations.

One highlight of the parade is a rainbow flag of brightly striped nylon that will stretch more than two city blocks. Sponsored by Georgie's Alibi, the flag will require 60 volunteers to unfurl.

The parade begins on Third Avenue N. and 31st Street, travels east on Third Avenue to 30th Street, then south to Central Avenue and down Central to its terminus at the St. Pete Pride Streetfest (Central Avenue between 24th and 26th streets).

The festivities continue there until 6 p.m., featuring live entertainment, speakers and more than 100 street vendors offering food and refreshments.

Entry to march in the parade is free, but registration is requested. Individual marchers, however, do not have to register. For more info, visit www.stpetepride.com.