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PRIDE Cape Coral looking for parade participants

By Staff | Mar 14, 2019

A first-time celebration of diversity will fill Cape Coral’s entertainment district the first weekend in April for two-days of equality.

PRIDE Cape Coral, the city’s inaugural LGBTQ celebration event, will take place April 6-7, featuring a parade, live entertainment and Sunday brunch.

The weekend is being put on by the South Cape Hospitality & Entertainment Associations in conjunction with PRIDE SWFL – and they’re looking for participants.

“SCHEA had been wanting to do a PRIDE event for some time. Cape Coral, unfortunately, ranks among the lowest of Florida’s bigger cities in the perception of acceptance of diversity. As the city continues to grow, it’s important to ensure we are doing all we can to make people feel welcome. So, we put together a committee, picked the dates and went to work,” said SCHEA Director Karmen Forrester.

The parade begins on Saturday, April 6, at 5:30 p.m. along Southeast 47th Terrace, between Southeast 15th Avenue and Southeast 8th Court.

Activities begin at 4 p.m. with food trucks, beer tents and a tutu drag race.

The jubilee will flow into Southeast 10th Place, where attendees will get to enjoy local and national talents on the “big stage.”

Entertainment will run from 7-10 p.m.

The parade’s grand marshal will be SONIQUE, best known for competing on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

If you’re wanting to take part in the parade, now’s the time to contact SCHEA about getting involved.

“The parade will feature local and national talent, dignitaries, floats, vintage cars and more. Expect to see lots of colorful displays and great energy. Those wanting to march in the parade should contact SCHEA as soon as possible,” said Forrester.

She envisions the day to be one of peace, love and community.

“This is going to be a fun, free, family event that is certainly going to entertain everyone. We want people to come with an open mind, and an open heart. And we look forward to introducing a totally different event to the community as well as bringing awareness to our local LGBTQ community,” she said. “It is important to understand that promoting gender equality means that we promote judging a person based on their merit and not their gender. We have come so far in the acceptance of the LGBTQ community, but we have so much farther to go and parades such as this help with that goal.”

Musical acts will include Sheena Brook, a Southwest Florida native who appeared on NBC’s “The Voice;” Madison, another former “Voice” participant and front woman for her band, Madison Avenue and Daye Nada, a drag queen/singer who won BackStreet’s 2016 Summer Sing-Off (as Raul) and who also appeared on “American Idol.”

For more information and to get involved, visit www.pridecapecoral.com.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj