On March 30th and 31st, Compass Community Center will host their annual Palm Beach Pride at Bryant Park in Lake Worth. The festival is expected to draw over twenty thousand people to town for the weekend’s ever-expanding number of events and activities, which include the annual Pride Parade through downtown Lake Worth, a “Youth Village” that is available to families on both days, delicious international cuisines, and world-class entertainment.
Palm Beach Pride’s theme is “50 Years of Pride” which is a recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the event largely honored as the beginning of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
This year, for the first time, Compass is partnering with the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County to create a unique piece of art that will serve as the backdrop of Palm Beach Pride’s stage. Rolando Chang-Barrero of The Box Gallery in West Palm Beach submitted the winning entry which will feature members of the community consistent with the 50 Years of Pride theme, and the festival will feature more art and artists than ever before, all around the park.
Another exciting addition this year’s Pride festivities is an expanded family fun area, or “Youth Village”, made possible by a partnership with South Florida Family Pride. Compass also welcomes Big Dog Ranch and XXX, with dogs available for adoption all weekend.
“One thing that sets our Pride apart from others is how family-friendly it is. We hope everyone enjoys the festival, including families with children,” Amanda Canete, Compass’ youth program director, explains. Compass’ youth group participants will be at the festival, volunteering at the youth village and raising funds for their upcoming Equality Prom and Lavender Graduation.
Palm Beach Pride is possible thanks to major sponsors such as CAN Community Health, ViiV Healthcare and PNC Bank. Attendees will be able to enjoy the festival on the water, visiting over 100 vendors and enjoying a variety of great food options, adult beverages for those old enough to partake, and two full day of high energy entertainment. Compass members can take advantage of perks at the members tent, and free HIV testing will be available to all, thanks to our partners at AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
The list of entertainers this year is exciting and diverse. Saturday will feature numerous local performers, including drag queens and musicians, and local celebrities from the KVJ show on 97.9 WRMF. World-renowned DJ Citizen Jane will be spinning throughout the day between shows. Emcees Melissa St. John and RaeJean Cox will be back to entertain for the weekend, too. Sunday’s headliners include openly gay rap artist Cazwell whose True Color Tour, featured on Logo, traveled to 15 cities in North America benefiting the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG and The Matthew Shepard Foundation. Compass is also thrilled to feature Robin S, whose hits “Luv 4 Luv ” and “Show Me Love” hits peaked #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play and Hot Dance Singles and topped the charts in R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and the Billboard Hot 100.
This year’s parade will feature pioneer members of the local LGBTQ community, many of whom are participants in Compass’ Legacy Project. The Project is an intergenerational storytelling program that features mature members of our community being interviewed by LGBTQ Youth. Also featured will be Miss Palm Beach Pride 2019, Kataleya Davenport Dupree.
Tickets are for each day of the festival are $8 until Thursday, March 28, and $10 starting on Friday, March 29. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Compass, the Book Cellar, Studio 205, Rooster’s, The Mad Hatter, Penny’s at the Duke, and Fort Dix. For more information about Palm Beach Pride, go to compassglcc.com/community-and-events/palm-beach-pride/.
Compass Community Center is Palm Beach County’s only LGBTQ Community Center and works to diminish stereotypes by challenging long-standing misconceptions about the character of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. Without a doubt, Palm Beach Pride exists as an important component of Compass’ efforts to create a safe place to live and allows for more effective local advocacy. The event has now grown from a small gathering to one of the largest festivals in South Florida.