Polk Pride celebrates nine years this week

Polk Pride 2023. (Photo by Dylan Todd)

LAKELAND, Fla. | Polk Pride will hold its signature Pride in the Park June 15 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Munn Park, marking nine years of serving the LGBTQ+ community in and around Polk County.

Organized by the Lakeland Youth Alliance and PFLAG of Polk County, Polk Pride “creates an inspiring and dedicated culture of support and aspires to be the premier platform for education and entertainment” for the region’s LGBTQ+ community. Their season of festivities also features events before and after Pride in the Park, including a Pride Night with the Lakeland Flying Tigers and Kick-Off Brunch:

“We are excited for the 9th year of Polk Pride and look forward to celebrating with a week-long event lineup including our largest event, Polk Pride in the Park — the must-do event for the entire family,” Polk Pride President Scott Guira shared ahead of time. “Polk Pride welcomes the entire community to join in celebrating inclusion for every member of the community.”

This week’s events include Pride for the Youth June 12 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the United Women’s Club of Lakeland. Designed for LGBTQ+ youth ages 11-17, this free and chaperoned event lets youth come together to celebrate who they are.

Pride in Faith will follow June 13, inviting local faith leaders to share their stories and perspective with the community at Beacon Hill Fellowship beginning at 7 p.m. A Friday Night Pride will start the weekend off with drinks, dancing and drag on June 14 from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at The Parrot with a $5 cover.

Pride in the Park will subsequently feature vendors, food and LGBTQ+ entertainment. “Come show your support, spread love and celebrate diversity,” organizers share. Afterwards Pridegoers can enjoy Pride After Dark, their 21+ end-of-season event.

Individuals can gather at 9 p.m. and this year’s celebration lasts until 1 a.m. The “Over the Rainbow” themed outing will have prizes given out to best-dressed guests. Participants can party with Polk Pride for $20 at the Rec Room.

Polk Pride has also shared that a number of Florida cities have showcased their support this year, issuing proclamations for Pride Month. Read more below:

For more information about Polk Pride 2024, including this year’s Pride in the Park on June 15, visit PolkPrideFL.org.

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