Exhilarating fun and challenges are planned for visitors to Key West Pride 2016. The annual festival, set for Wednesday through Sunday, June 8-12, salutes diversity in one of America’s leading gay and lesbian getaway spots. Parrot Key Resort is a member of the Key West Business Guild and offers an excellent location for Pride festivities–minutes from Old Town but nestled in a tropical oasis away from it all.
Contests bring an extra bit of fun to the five-day festival, including a 10k relay for tutu-wearing runners and walkers, pageants to select Mr., Miss and Ms. Key West Pride and a special Pride edition of television’s classic “The Newlywed Game.”The celebration on the subtropical island of Key West features daytime pool parties, late-night drag shows, on-the-water adventures including snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding and a Veterans of Foreign Wars fishing tournament; a rainbow bike parade, a street fair on renowned Duval Street, a burlesque experience tailored to the LGBT audience; a one-of-a-kind trolley tour documenting the LGBT community’s impact on Key West history and culture, a festive brunch served with a drag show on the side and more.
Scheduled highlights include the 2016 Stoli Original Cocktail Challenge’s Wednesday night Pride kick-off gala, Friday night contestant runoffs and Saturday night final round. The contest features regional winners from LGBT bars in 15 North American cities, all competing to create an original Key West cocktail that reflects the island’s creativity and spirit.
The final round is set for 7-10 p.m. Saturday on an open-air stage in the 700 block of Duval Street. Broadway actor and former “Queer Eye” television personality Jai Rodriguez and Stoli USA’s national LGBT ambassador Patrik Gallineaux are to host, with Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and actor Bruce Vilanch, actress and singer Latoya London and acclaimed Key West female impersonator “Sushi” on hand as celebrity judges.
The winner is to be honorary grand marshal of the 2016 Pride Parade. The all-welcome procession, to feature a 100-foot section of Key West’s famed sea-to-sea rainbow flag, is slated to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12, and proceed up Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.
Following the parade, revelers can meet for Stoli’s official after-parade party at La Te Da, 1125 Duval St.