Memorial Day and Pride in Paradise

Two events happening over the next two weeks will attract LGBTQ people from across the country to the Sunshine State.

First, head down to Pensacola, Florida, for a huge Memorial Day weekend blowout presented by Johnny Chisholm. From May 28 to 30, party day and night in paradise with DJs Joe Gauthreaux, Dan Slater, Roland Belmares, Will Lowe, and Joe Ross.

All weekend long, dance in the sun at the daily beach tea dances from 1 to 5pm, then rest up before the sun sets and head back down to the beach for the nightly parties, which start at 9pm and last until 3am. All events will be at Park East.

This event promises to be both fun and safe. Fully vaccinated attendees will not be required to wear a mask after presenting their original vaccination cards; photos or copies of the cards will not be accepted. Unvaccinated attendees will be required to get a COVID-19 test prior to the event. The test costs $50 and will be paid for by the attendee. Those who test negative will be issued a special wrist band and will not be required to wear a mask.

Single-day tickets are $70, a weekend pass is $180, and a VIP weekend pass is $350. The VIP pass includes express entrance, open bar, and access to a raised viewing area and air conditioned restrooms. Purchase tickets at

The week after, travel farther south to Key West, Florida, for its in-person Pride celebration from June 2 through 6, presented by the Key West Business Guild.

The event kicks off with an all-welcome kickoff gala at the Island House Resort (1129 Fleming St.) on Wednesday from 5 to 8pm. Guests will enjoy complimentary Stoli cocktails, champagne, and hors d’oeuvres. Thursday’s events include a men-only Naked Pool Party at Equator Resort at 1pm, a wine tasting event at D’Vine Wine gallery from 4 to 6pm, a sunset sail at 6:30pm, a local bartender competition at Bourbon Street Pub starting at 8pm, and an all-welcome Pride Party at SideBar starting at 9pm.

On Friday, choose either the Singles, Couples, and Throuples men-only naked pool party at Island House or the bartending class at 22&Co, both starting at noon. The night will be filled with three parties: the all-welcome “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” party at Aquaplex at 8pm, the men-only Fetish Ball at Saloon 1 at 9pm, and the all-welcome Glow Party at 801 Bourbon at 10pm.

Then, on Saturday, enjoy the Pride Street Fair on Duval Street from 10am to 7pm or one of two all-welcome pool parties happening at noon: the Pride Pool Party at Bourbon Street Pub or the “Are You Wet Yet Pool Party” at Alexander’s Guesthouse. Close the day out with the “Rainbow is my Favorite Color” all-welcome party at Aquaplex at 9pm or the men-only Purgatory Party at Bourbon Street Pub at 10pm.

The weekend closes out with a slew of amazing events. Head to the MCC Church Pride Service at 10am or the Unity of the Keys Pride Service at 11am, then go to the men-only Hot Naked Pool Party at Island House or the Pride Drag Brunch at Mangoes at noon. End the day at the “Rainbow Roast — Everybody gets Porked,” a drag-themed dinner with traditional Hawaiian fare, at Aquaplex at 6pm, but not before the Famous Tea Dance at LaTeDa from 4 to 6pm.

Key West Pride promises to be a COVID-safe event.

“As we move forward with many exciting events for Pride 2021, we want to reassure our guests and participants that we’re planning a very safe celebration adhering to all the CDC’s current COVID-19 guidelines,” said Kevin Theriault, the executive director of the Key West Business Guild. All venue hosts will provide hand sanitizer and require attendees to wear masks for entry.

For more information and to buy tickets to events, visit