Renowned for its “One Human Family” philosophy of unity and equality, Key West will welcome visitors to its annual Pride festivities Wednesday through Sunday, June 2-6.

Key West 1.25-mile-long rainbow flag

Key West’s atmosphere of diversity and equality is celebrated each year during June’s Pride festivities. (Photo by Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau)

Presented by the Key West Business Guild, events will showcase the diversity and welcoming atmosphere that make the southernmost city a top vacation destination for LGBTQ visitors — and the place I PROUDLY call home!

“As we move forward with many exciting events for Pride 2021, we want to reassure our guests and participants that we’re planning a very safe celebration adhering to all the CDC’s current COVID-19 guidelines,” said Kevin Theriault, executive director of the guild that has served LGBTQ visitors to Key West for four decades.

The 2021 Pride extravaganza’s lineup will include playful pool parties at LGBTQ guesthouses, flamboyant drag shows by Key West’s top performers, a street fair on famed Duval Street, nighttime soirees at local clubs, a burlesque-style show with a frisky LGBTQ flair, and a lively brunch served with drag performances on the side.

All venue hosts will have plenty of hand sanitizer on hand (pardon the pun) and require that attendees wear masks for entry and whenever they’re not seated at a bar or restaurant.

Key West Pride and Island House Resort will host an all-welcome kick-off gala at the 1129 Fleming St. resort from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 2.  And, yes, ladies, it’s your chance to join the typically all-male resort in one of the most anticipated annual gatherings on the island. The resort will be offering free-flowing (and complimentary, yahoo!) Stoli libations, champagne and delicious hors d’oeuvres. All of their “bevies and bites” will be served by their very handsome and always ever-so-welcoming staff as an extra treat.

Thursday’s highlights include a “spirited” competition for local bartenders at the Bourbon St. Pub, 724 Duval St., while Friday’s schedule features 22&Co’s bartending class from noon to 2 p.m. at its 504 Angela St. location.

Pool parties at resorts including Equator, shown here, are always a favorite of Pride attendees.

The class instructor will be Key West’s one and only Brad Buck, a colorful and very entertaining bartender. Brad will touch on the history and ingredients of cocktails as well as expert drink-making instruction. The ticketed event is $60 and includes four drinks, your very own bar gear and a special “Pride shot” to cap the affair.

Among Saturday’s numerous Pridebrations is the LGBTQ Street Fair, which is typically held on “island time,” from 10-ish a.m. to 7-ish p.m. along the 700 to 900 blocks of Duval St. Don’t forget to wear your favorite Pride-themed attire, sunscreen and — I have to mention it — your mask, please.

By the way, if you’d like to upgrade to a new and ever-so-chic mask, the LGBTQ visitor center has some fabulous masks for sale that you can add to your 2020-21 accessories. Who would have ever thought my sock drawer would become mask-central in 2021?

On Pride’s final day (sigh), Sunday, June 6, revelers can enjoy the time-honored Tea Dance from 4-6 p.m. at La Te Da, 1125 Duval St. Get ready for some fantastic music, decadent libations and of course lots of dancing at the lovely poolside venue.

Afterwards, the Aquaplex at 711 Duval St. will kick off its inaugural “Rainbow Roast,” a 6-10 p.m. drag-themed dinner with traditional Hawaiian luau fare. Tickets are $100 per person, and “Pride Hawaiian” attire is encouraged.

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