Jacksonville, Florida is Proud, too
Story by Ed Salvato; images courtesy River City Pride Festival; above the Riverfront Festival's gay welcome; below the crowd gathers for the parade
Who says all of Florida's gay fun takes place in the southern part of the state?
Jacksonville, Florida in northeast Florida, near the Atlantic coast and south of George, is ready to celebrate its annual gay Pride celebration, the 2010 River City Pride Festival, which will take place Oct. 2-17.
Granted, Jacksonville may not have the flash of Miami, the magic and otherworldiness of Key West, or the shear breadth of LGBT options of Ft. Lauderdale, but it does have heart. And there are a surprising number of lesbian, gay and trans folks who come out to play throughout the entire course of Pride.
On Saturday, October 2, there will be a parade (3PM-7PM) and block in the historic Riverside neighborhood. Pride Night begins Saturday October 2 at 8PM at the Metro and the Norm (2952 Roosevelt Blvd, Jacksonville), for women. Throughout the two-week Pride period, there will be a variety of events at local bars/restaurants/venues and the week will wrap up on Sunday, October 17 with a riverfront festival.
So, if you happen to be in the area or want to make a special trip for it, come experience Pride like it was before the madness of commercialism took muscled out the folksiness of so many larger Prides.
Where to stay
- The Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront, a TAG-approved property on the Downtown waterfront, is offering a special rate for festival attendees of $89. www.cpjacksonville.com;
- The Courtyard by Marriott Oceanfront, a gay-friendly property, is offering a rate of $129.00 for non oceanfront and $149.00 for oceanfront.www.marriott.com/jaxjv;
- The Fairfield Inn & Suites Jacksonville Beach, another gay-friendly property, is offering a rate of $109.00 for a standard room and $129.00 for a Junior Suite. www.marriott.com/jaxjb;