Pride Night returns to the Central Florida Fair

Central Florida Fair. (Photo from Central Florida Fair’s website)

ORLANDO | A night of LGBTQ+ celebration will be held at the Central Florida Fair featuring a variety of local vendors, food, games, live music and entertainment for all.

The second annual Pride Night is presented by the LGBT+ Center Orlando, SAVOY Orlando and Watermark in partnership with the Central Florida Fair.

Michael Tipton, president and CEO of the Central Florida Fairgrounds, says Pride Night makes a difference in the community by creating a safe space. He adds his team surveyed attendees last year to see if they felt safe while at the fair, with several responders saying “I didn’t until I came to Pride Night.”

“It’s nice to be someplace where there is a large LGBTQ community,” Tipton says. “To feel safe and make it an even better place for us.”

Tipton says the fair has already secured 40 vendors for Pride Night, with a waiting list of more possible to come.

“We want people to know about their resources,” Tipton says. “To see the importance of our community, want to get involved and want us to know they’re there and that they’re supportive.”

Along with the 40+ vendors, the Pride Night area will feature two drag shows — one at 8 p.m. and another at 10 p.m. — a VIP area with private bar, raffle prizes throughout the night and a swag bag for the first 150 people.

As for the fair itself, guests will be able to check out the new Bizarre Boulevard, an area where “the strange and extraordinary come to life,” featuring a haunted house, an 18+ adult circus variety show, tarot readings, fire dancers, chainsaw jugglers, aerialists, stilt walkers and more.

Last year, there were over 600 people who attended the fair’s Pride Night. Tipton says they hadn’t anticipated such a turnout and he can’t wait to see how many attend this year.

“What really makes you feel all warm and fuzzy was the parents that were there with their LGBT kids,” Tipton says. “They get to see this whole community that they can be a part of and not feel like there’s something wrong with them or that they’re being ignored.”

Tipton says events like Pride Night should give hope to the LGBTQ+ youth.

“It lets them know that despite some of the media and political portrayals there’s nothing wrong with this community,” Tipton says. “It’s a wonderful, diverse community. Hopefully, they’ll have hope for the future. I know, I would’ve loved to see something like that when I was a kid.”

One thing Tipton noticed last year was the amount of allies who came out to celebrate Price Night.

“The fact that so many people came out and so many non-LGBTQ people came out just to support us, was amazing,” Tipton says. “Especially in last year’s political climate, it was nice to see. Hopefully, it indicates better things for the future.”

Tipton adds that the fair will always be for everybody and there will always be something for everyone. The goal of theme nights at the fair is to make sure everyone feels welcomed.

“I want the entire community first and foremost to feel that we support them,” Tipton says. “We love them, and everyone is welcome here.”

The Central Florida Fair runs Feb. 29-March 10. Pride Night will take place March 6, starting at 6 p.m. Admission to the fair is only $5 if you use the promo code PRIDE when purchasing tickets at

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