March 12, 2020.
This just in from the organizers of Pride of the Americas 2020:
Pride of the Americas Festival Postponed
Organizers Cite COVID-19 Uncertainty, Safety of Guests Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Pride Fort Lauderdale, organizers of the first Pride of the Americas festival planned for April 21 – 26 in Greater Fort Lauderdale, today announced the postponement of the event until later in the year.
The decision came in response to uncertainty around the current COVID-19 pandemic and
concern for the health and safety of both residents and the hundreds of thousands of guests
expected from across North and South America and the Caribbean.
“This is obviously a disappointing blow to the entire Pride Fort Lauderdale team and our
sponsors and partners,” said president Miik Martorell, who noted planning began more than
two years ago. “However, the safety of the public is always our utmost concern.”
Pride Fort Lauderdale has already begun working with the city, county and Greater Fort
Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the festival’s presenting sponsor, to identify new
dates this fall.
Organizers and community partners had planned dozens of events, including conferences
dedicated to seniors, health care and business issues, an LGBT+ arts festival, runway fashion
show, 5K run, parties, a parade and beach festival. Most events are expected to be rescheduled
for the new dates.
Martorell added, “We look forward to this opportunity to make Pride of the Americas bigger
and better, once the global health crisis passes.”
For more information, go to PrideOfTheAmericas.org or contact J.W. Arnold, executive director,
954-848-1894 cell or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida will host the first-ever Pride of the Americas in 2020. The weeklong event is poised to be one of the largest LGBTQ events ever, with visitors from 53 countries across the Americas in attendance. With a combination of parties and parades, as well as conferences, symposiums, and lectures, the event is aimed at being both exciting and informative.
According to Fort Lauderdale’s openly gay mayor, Dean Trantalis, the idea for Pride of the Americas was born out of a rather precarious situation. “The origin of the concept actually came when Fort Lauderdale applied to host World Pride,” Mayor Trantalis said, “but with the advent of the Trump administration, there was a tremendous fear that people from other parts of the world either wouldn’t get visas to America or would simply be too afraid to come here. So, unfortunately, we lost the 2021 bid to Copenhagen. But we knew that our city is great for the LGBTQ community and, in fact, we have one of the highest concentrations of LGBTQ people in all of America, so we thought it would be excellent to form a new event… One that would bring the entire Western Hemisphere together. And with our strategic location, we’re smack dab in the middle of the Americas and Caribbean, so it was the perfect formula. Thus, Pride of the Americas was formed and we decided to unite LGBTQ people across the two continents to offer support, promote change, and increase awareness. We’re all extremely excited for this to be happening!”
The week will be filled with everything from runway shows, arts festivals, and after-parties to the much-anticipated LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Conference and the Transgender Summit.
One of the major aims of this year’s event will be to raise awareness of the conditions that LGBTQ+ people face in Latin America and the Caribbean. Miik Martorell, the President of Pride Fort Lauderdale, has been an integral figure in making the event a reality. He said that in the US, there tends to be a lack of awareness of what’s going in other parts of the Americas. Accord to Martorell, “We need to remember we’re all living in the Americas. We want to create awareness and build bridges for countries that are right in our own backyard. We want to show solidarity and comradery.” One of the best examples of this will be the Pride of the Americas Business and LGBT+ Travel Conference. Here, business leaders will be able to share stories and ideas of how incorporating diversity can actually be profitable and make businesses stronger, opening a pathway to show other countries that there is strength in inclusivity.
Richard Gray, of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in an interview that this will be the first of many Pride of the Americas. The gathering will happen every two years in different cities across North and South America. Gray also said that the next host city will be announced at this year’s Closing Ceremony.
Ft. Lauderdale is a prime location to hold the inaugural event. The Greater Ft. Lauderdale area is ranked as one of the most diverse counties in all of the USA. High concentrations of not only LGBTQ residents, but also residents of color, and many with different ethnic backgrounds gives the city a thriving art scene, delicious cuisine, and most importantly, a welcoming vibe. On top of its inclusive energy, the city is also an important hub for the LGBTQ community, being home to the AIDS Museum and Education Center and well as The Stonewall Museum and Archives.
Gray also stated that the city’s geographical location is an important factor. A four-hour flight north will get you to Canada, and a four-hour flight south will get you to South America. It has the benefit of being right in the center of the Americas.
And the city plans on being prepared. The airport, hotels, rental car companies, and mass transit systems are all taking steps to make sure they’re ready for the increased crowds. So when you go, be sure to have fun, keep an open mind, be respectful of those around you, and celebrate all things queer in one of this country’s greatest cities. Make friends, learn something new, and unite the Americas for a better tomorrow.