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SWFL Pride Festival is Saturday at Alliance of the Arts

By Staff | Oct 5, 2017

This year’s SWFL Pride Festival and vendor marketplace is set for Saturday from noon 5:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Alliance of the Arts.

SWFL Pride is a family friendly event featuring games and activities, shopping plus plenty of food and drinks, organizers said. Its vendor market will include service organizations, local and national community organizations, social organizations, area non-profits, supportive religious organizations, Additionally, the amphitheater stage will be filled with fabulous entertainment, featuring renowned artist Jaimie Wilson, B103.9’s DJ Mad Mel, Kelly Neff, DJ Kooshie, DJ Ajar, local drag queens and kings and more.

The festival will include plenty of on-site and nearby free parking.

Bring cash, a chair or blanket to sit on at the Pride Festival but please, no coolers or pets.

Entrance into SWFL Pride is a suggested donation of $5.

On Sunday following SWFL Pride, Pride-SWFL will sponsor a Tea Dance.

The theme for this year’s Tea Dance coincides with the theme for SWFL Pride in a celebration of sunny Florida and a recognition of the Pride that fills each year’s annual commemoration, through a coming together in an expression of resilience.

Attendees will join in dancing, fun, and good music. There will be a cash bar, drag show and featured DJs such as DJ Mad Mel, DJ Kooshie, and DJ Ajar.

The Tea Dance will take place from 2-6 p.m. at Celsius in downtown Fort Myers, 2213 Main St.

Pride-SWFL was created in August 2009 out of a grass roots effort to put on a community festival to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City.

Pride-SWFL started with approximately 20 individuals meeting in living rooms and representing local businesses, clubs, organizations and colleges. Within only six weeks, with no money, little experience, and only a few posters to get the word out, they put together and hosted a four-hour festival including a stage packed full of entertainment, and over 30 participating vendors.

Last year, SWFL Pride introduced the Goldberg Award as a celebration of the strength of the individuals who stand against adversity and fight for the basic human and civil rights that should be afforded to all.

Pride-SWFL will continue this tradition by recognizing the new recipient of this award at the year’s SWFL Pride.

Alliance of the Arts is at 10091 McGregor Blvd., off Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers.