Gulfport Pride hosts inaugural celebration

ABOVE: LGBTQ advocates including LGBTQ Resource Center Chair Susan Gore march in Gulfport for Pride Month. Photo courtesy LGBTQ Resource Center.

GULFPORT, Fla. | Gulfport Pride will hold its inaugural event May 29 from 4-9 p.m., a celebration benefiting the LGBTQ Resource Center of the Gulfport Public Library.

The award-winning space has previously received the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums for its inclusive services. It has long been celebrated for its resource center’s LGBTQ focus, which was established as its own nonprofit in 2019.

In addition to the City of Gulfport, organizers of the inaugural Gulfport Pride include SIK Promotions and LocalShops1. The former produces, promotes and manages fundraising festivals throughout Tampa Bay and the latter seeks to connect consumers with local businesses.

While limited in scale to ensure the safety of attendees, SIK expects a larger follow-up next year. Until then, the inaugural festival will begin with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff featuring the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band in a socially distanced presentation.

With more than 30 members, the fan favorite band has performed during a variety of events. They will precede a Pride flag raising at the library scheduled for 4 p.m., which also serves as the launch of the fourth annual ArtOut.

The exhibit highlights LGBTQ and ally artists who reside in Gulfport and will be featured inside of the resource center throughout Pride Month. It will be open May 29 from 4-6 p.m.

This year’s vendor showcase will feature more than 50 participants and be held from 4-9 p.m. along Beach Blvd. S. LocalShops1 encourages people to “Swing by and say hi (and SHOP!) from local makers and small businesses and check out the awesome nonprofits serving our community!”

Organizers will follow all recommended safety guidelines and as of press time, note that vendors will be socially distanced and wear masks. Guests are encouraged to do the same, with masks available for those without them.

Organizers promise popup events at businesses throughout Beach and Shore Blvds. Entertainment includes Drag by the Bay featuring Tampa Bay entertainer Brianna Summers from 7-10 p.m. and the Double M. Band at Salty’s Gulfport from 7-11 p.m. Admission to events is free.

“Gulfport Pride will provide a much-needed positive influence for our residents and businesses who have struggled over the last year,” Gulfport City Councilman Paul Ray says. “We welcome all to celebrate our cities diversity with like-minded people safely.”

LGBTQ Resource Center Chair Susan Gore says that the organization is honored to have been named the beneficiary of the inaugural event. She also stresses the importance of “raising awareness and funding for programs that educate the Gulfport community about the needs and contributions of all of us who identify as LGBTQ.

“We appreciate the support of Councilmember Paul Ray in promoting Gulfport Pride,” Gore concludes, “as well as City Council and the City of Gulfport for its enduring commitment to LGBTQ inclusion.”

Gulfport Pride will be held May 29. For more information, contact SIK Productions’ Suzanne King at, 727-417-5494 or visit the event’s Facebook page.

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