A weekend of Pride in St. Pete, then more in GaYbor

Fri., June 26Sat., June 27Sun., June 28Mon.-Sun., June 29-July 5

On June 28, 1969, the drag queens and gay boys of Greenwich Village fought back against police brutality at a bar called the Stonewall Inn, and in the process kicked a civil rights movement into high gear. Forty years later, with equality having moved from impossible dream to real possibility, LGBT-ers and their supporters are reaping the benefits of what began that night in NYC — which means that this year's St. Pete Pride Parade & Festival is likely to be more fan-tabulous than ever. Break out the most outrageous, rainbow-tastic array of accessories you can find and hit the streets, and remember that while the focus is on gay issues, the festival is really about acceptance for all people — especially those struggling for government support and recognition. Pride is about just that: being proud of how far gay rights have come in recent years while recognizing that we have a long way to go.

The weekend of Pride activities kicks off with Laughter in Paradise, where three LGBT comedians from the Logo Network's Laughing Matters: Next Gen stand-up series — Gloria Bigelow, Edison Apple and Amy Tee — bring some hilarity to St. Pete Beach. Afterwards, Georgie's Alibi hosts a Pre-Parade Pride Night with drink specials and lights fantastic. Don't party too hearty, though: you've gotta be in tip-top shape for a looong day ahead. Laughter, 8-11 p.m., TradeWinds Island Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach; Pride Night, 9 p.m.-midnight, Georgie's Alibi, 3100 Third Ave. N., St. Petersburg.

The Saturday fun begins bright and early with a Pancake Breakfast — trust us, you'll need the carbs. The main event, the St. Pete Pride Promenade, allows numerous opportunities to march and mingle. Floats are decked out in a rainbow of colors, entertainers abound, and Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner makes a guest appearance as this year's Grand Marshal. Then revelers gather for the Street Festival, where all manner of vendors and locals gather to show their unity and sell you stuff. Look for Creative Loafing's Gay Wedding Float and Photo Booth; get your picture took with your significant other and you can qualify for a honeymoon getaway at TradeWinds Island Resort.Pancake, 7-10 a.m., King of Peace MCC, St. Petersburg, $6; Promenade, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., launches from Georgie's Alibi, travels east on Third to 30th Street, south by Seminole Park in Historic Kenwood, and finally east down Central Avenue to 20th Street; Festival, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Grand Central District, between 19th and 31st streets, St. Petersburg.

A day in the sun can take a lot out of you, so when at last the streets are empty, wind down with the dragtastic divas at Pride Bingo Night, where you can feel good about losing because proceeds benefit local LGBT charities. But don't take off those dancing shoes just yet: the evening wraps up with Pride Night in — where else? — GaYbor, where Pride-goers take over G.Bar and The Honeypot. Bingo, 6:30-8:30 p.m., King of Peace MCC, St. Petersburg; Pride at G.Bar, 11 p.m., 1401 E. Seventh Ave., and Pride at The Honeypot, 11 p.m., 1507 E. Seventh Ave., both in Ybor City.

You'll likely want to sleep in after a day of festivities, but when you're sober enough to stand, pour yourself a coffee (or if you're really a trouper, a Bloody Mary) and enjoy Detox Beach Day, during which board members of St. Pete Pride encourage you to "take your favorite rainbow umbrella and flag beach towel to your favorite beach and celebrate diversity along the water." The fun wraps with the Retox Party, where a Smart car is raffled off and you can shake your groove thang before the official end of Pride Month. Detox, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fort DeSoto, Pass-A-Grille, Gulfport, North Shore and Sunset beaches; Retox, 5:30 p.m.-midnight, Georgie's Alibi, St. Petersburg. Visit stpetepride.com for more info.

But wait, there's more! If you just can't get enough pride, and who can, GaYbor is extending the party with GaYbor Days 2009, starting with karaoke and open mic at Crowbar and The Social, respectively, on Monday June 29, and continuing all week and into Fourth of July weekend with art shows, strip shows, drink deals, dance nights and lots more all over Ybor from Gameworks to Teatro, RockNSports to the Ritz, G.Bar to Honey Pot, culminating in a brunch and a bar crawl on Sunday July 5. Get full details at www.gaybor.com.