June has arrived in Key West, and the island is abuzz with anticipation for the 2021 Pride festivities. However, for Florida Keys & Key West residents, pride in the compassionate LGBTQ community and its allies isn’t only apparent during a single event held each June. Instead, it’s a year-round state of mind.
As Key West prepares to celebrate its June 2-6 Pride festivities, what does Pride — or the concept of pride — mean to island residents? An acknowledgement of life's beautiful diversity, a reminder to use the past to build a better future, and joy for the Key West community’s caring nature are among the answers provided.
Key West visitors can enjoy activities like dolphin watching, kayaking, swimming, sunning and exploring protected local waters during cruises on the 55-foot luxury yacht “Bottoms Up,” thanks to a charter business launched by LGBTQ business leader Joe Schroeder. Captain Joe’s team creates an exclusive “dream day at sea” for each charter group.
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. Presented by the Key West Business Guild, events will showcase the diversity and enticing atmosphere that make the southernmost city a top vacation destination for LGBTQ visitors.
Foodies can sample tasty temptations and savor the subtropical flavors of Key West through “Taste of Key West 2021 Reimagined” — a dining card that takes the place of the “Taste of Key West” in-person charity fundraiser traditionally held each April. The pocket-size dining cards are usable for a year beginning April 19, 2021.
Don’t miss Key West’s eagerly anticipated “Pride Follies,” scheduled May 22 at the Key West Theater. The production's format is similar to an old-fashioned vaudeville-type show, with a wide array of local talent to entertain audiences. Acts are likely to range from vocals to dancing programs — and maybe even a saucy burlesque performance.
Internationally renowned playwright Tennessee Williams lived in Key West for more than 30 years, writing classic dramas including “Night of the Iguana.” Today, fans of his groundbreaking plays can honor his legacy and love for his island lifestyle during the annual Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration conceived by longtime Key West resident Dennis Beaver.
Key West’s LGBTQ visitors have a great resource to make their trips lively and memorable: the Key West Business Guild and its LGBTQ visitor center. The guild’s executive director, Kevin Theriault, makes travelers feel welcome and shares insights into what he calls “one of the most integrated and unique communities in the world.”
The Aquaplex (formerly known as the Aqua Bar and Nightclub), located in the heart of Key West’s LGBTQ entertainment district, has debuted a new look and enhancements. Along with the addition of an on-site Hawaiian-themed restaurant in its open-air backside bar and patio area, it now has five unique venues to delight patrons.
With Valentine's Day approaching, couples tired of winter blues might be daydreaming about escaping to the Florida Keys for a romantic getaway. The island chain has some of the warmest winter temps in the nation, and there's nothing better than snuggling up with your sweetheart and rejuvenating your soul in the welcoming sunshine.