KEY WEST, Fla. — Renowned for its "One Human Family" philosophy of unity and equality, Key West is to welcome visitors to its annual Pride festivities Wednesday through Sunday, June 2-6.
Presented by the Key West Business Guild, events are to showcase the diversity and welcoming atmosphere that make the southernmost city a top vacation destination for LGBTQ visitors.
“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, which has served LGBTQ visitors to Key West for four decades.
The 2021 festival schedule includes pool parties at guesthouses and emporiums, 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 an LGBTQ flair and a lively brunch served with drag performances on the side.
All Pride venue hosts are to provide hand sanitizer 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 are to host an all-welcome kick-off gala at the 1129 Fleming St. resort from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 2. Planned attractions include complimentary Stoli cocktails, champagne and hors d'oeuvres.
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 504 Angela St. The class is to touch on the history and ingredients of cocktails as well as expert drink-making instruction. The ticketed event is $60 and includes four drinks and a special "Pride shot" to cap the affair.
Among Saturday’s many attractions is the Pride Street Fair, set for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. along the 700 to 900 blocks of Duval Street.
On Pride's final day, Sunday, June 6, revelers can enjoy the time-honored Key West Tea Dance slated for 4-6 p.m. at La Te Da at 1125 Duval St.
Following the Tea Dance, the Aquaplex at 711 Duval St. is to stage the 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.
Event information and schedule: gaykeywestfl.com/pride/
During Pride 2003, the iconic Key West rainbow flag stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean in a sea-to-sea display of pride and unity. Photo: Andy Newman
A local bartender competition is a highlight each year, with competitors' recipes from around the country.
Key West's diversity and welcoming atmosphere make the southernmost city a top vacation destination for LGBTQ visitors.