St. Pete Pride is one of the biggest events of the year in the Sunshine City. It’s a beautiful celebration of love and acceptance that also serves as a major economic driver for restaurants, bars, hotels and venues in the Tampa Bay region. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic many major events have been put on hold or pushed back, St. Pete Pride is the latest to move back its scheduled date.
The event has been pushed until Fall 2020, though an official date has yet to be determined. St Pete Pride is actively working with the City of St. Petersburg to secure new dates for the events and will make additional changes to the schedule (as necessary) to move forward with the celebrations.
“We recognize how meaningful our PRIDE celebration is to the LGBTQ community in Tampa Bay. Although we may not be able to physically gather as we normally would this June, our postponement will in no way diminish what it means to be PROUD in St Pete and Tampa Bay! We will still find ways to raise our flags of all colors, celebrate the beauty and vibrancy of our community, and spotlight the issues our movement still faces,” said Chrys Bundy, St Pete Pride Board President in a statement on St. Pete Pride’s website.
St. Petersburg officials have also provided statements regarding the postponement:
“St Pete Pride recognizes that there is simply too much uncertainty right now to plan an event that draws such large numbers of people from near and far. I appreciate their thinking ahead, and their eagerness to look ahead to a future date that is in the best interest of public health. Our annual parade and festival is one of the best and biggest in the nation and will certainly outlast any challenges that come its way. In the interim, we should continue to embrace and celebrate our LGBTQ residents and allies each and every day for their efforts in helping the sun to shine so brightly on us here in St. Pete.” – Mayor Rick Kriseman
“While we have seen progress towards “flattening the curve” in St. Petersburg, the need to continue social distancing remains high and mass gatherings are not likely to resume any time soon. I support the difficult decision to postpone this year’s St Pete Pride celebrations. I and many residents and businesses look forward to Pride and it saddens me to see such a unifying and uplifting event delayed. I have faith that our resilient community can continue to promote LGBTQ+ visibility and acceptance all year long and even without a parade. This sadness is temporary and I look forward to being able to celebrate with our community this fall.” – Amy Foster, City Council District 8
“While the postponement of our St Pete Pride celebration is disappointing, I fully support the decision to put health and safety first. We can still stand together in other ways with our LGBTQ+ friends and family to recognize and honor the path that has led to our city’s beautiful diversity. We must remember that the spirit of Pride lives here in St. Petersburg every day – this is who we are.” – Gina L. Driscoll, City Council District 6
“St Pete Pride is a beloved celebration of community and togetherness. In the past 18 years, Pride has become a vital part of the St. Pete story. However, COVID-19 respects no person or tradition. It will not stop until we stop it. I applaud St Pete Pride for making the difficult decision to follow public health advice and postpone Pride Weekend 2020. Pride and the values it represents have never been more important, and I look forward to working with Mayor Kriseman and St Pete Pride to make Pride 2020 the best yet.” – Robert Blackmon, City Council District 1