DUNEDIN — With support from the city, the mayor, and the City Commission, the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for the city’s inaugural Pride Week celebration.
The weeklong celebration will get underway Saturday, June 11, with a series of events that includes the Dunedin Golf Cart Pride Parade, Pride in the TD Ballpark, and Silent Disco at HOB Brewing Co. Additional activities are scheduled throughout the week, concluding with the Dunedin Pride Gay-Lah on Saturday, June 18.
The idea behind Dunedin Pride Week emerged several years ago, but — as with so many things — the arrival of COVID-19 forced a delay.
“The Chamber and city decided that as a community who has long celebrated diversity and equality, we should do a pride celebration that was fitting to our city,” said Gregory Brady, chair of the Chamber of Commerce board and the chair of this year’s Dunedin Pride event. “The Blue Jays came to me personally and asked that we put together a pride celebration back in the end of 2019 and 2020 with players wearing pride jerseys and at that time the chamber sponsored the logo on the jerseys.”
By March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic triggered the cancellation of concerts and other cultural events and worldwide shutdowns.
“That event, of course, had to be canceled like all others,” Brady said.
The time is right to launch the city’s inaugural Pride Week celebration.
“This time we decided to start working on it under the umbrella of the chamber because it was consistent with the chamber’s viewpoint of welcoming all people to Dunedin,” Brady said.
Last June, when city commissioners proclaimed June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the city, Brady said that the gay community enjoys Dunedin because it is a safe haven, a safe place to live, work and play.
“As we embark on the celebration of Pride Month, we pause to recognize that our differences spark change, growth, and innovation only if we clear the pathway to a more diverse workforce for this to happen,” Pamela Pravetz, president/CEO at Dunedin Chamber of Commerce, states on the Dunedin Pride website. “Pride Month was created to celebrate our diversity, commemorate those who fought to end our oppression and support those who continue to fight against the ongoing discrimination and bigotry that are sadly still prevalent in our society. The transformation has started to occur; however, it is impossible not to observe that we still have this ongoing debate in our country.”
The Dunedin community has shown overwhelming support.
“The city was the first one to step up to the plate, pun intended, to become a partner in the pride by donating $15,000 and becoming a partner with the chamber in the endeavor,” Brady said. “The Blue Jays renew their commitment to have players wear the pro jerseys and sponsor a pride in TD ballpark event.”
Sponsors are eager to be part of the celebration.
“It has been amazing how many small businesses have become sponsors,” he continued. “We are gaining great momentum in social media and the different advertising mediums that we are participating in.”
Dunedin Pride Week events
From June 11 to 18, the city will be vibrant with fun activities and events for the LGBTQIA community and their allies.
The festivities will include a variety of events, including the following:
Saturday, June 11
• Dunedin Golf Cart Pride Parade — Beginning at 5 p.m., the parade will head down Main Street from Dunedin Mease Hospital to the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce before turning around to head to the Dunedin Blues Jays TD Ballpark. The event is free. Golf carts must register online at dunedinpride.com.
• Pride at the TD Ballpark — Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the first pitch thrown at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $18. Visit DunedinPride.com.
• Silent Disco — The Silent Disco will run from 8 to 11 p.m. at HOB Brewing Co., 931 Huntley Ave., Dunedin. Cost is $10. Tickets are available online at DunedinPride.com.
Sunday, June 12
• Fenway Pool Party & Show — The Fenway Pool Party & Show is a ticketed event, running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Fenway Hotel, 453 Edgewater Drive, Dunedin. The event will feature performances by drag queens, and a trans performer. There will be games and swag giveaways. Brunch will be available for purchase. Tickets are $35 and are available online at DunedinPride.com.
Tuesday, June 14
• Film screening: “Gen Silent” — Dunedin Pride, Dunedin Committee on Aging, Area Agency on Aging, Better Living for Seniors, and LGBT Elders Initiative will present a partial screening of “Gen Silent,” a 2010 documentary film about LGBTQ aging. The event will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Hale Senior Activity Center, 330 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. A discussion will follow the screening. The event is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, June 15
• Honu Dinner before Movies — This non-ticketed event will run from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Honu Restaurant and Tiki Bar, 516 Grant St., Dunedin. Attendees may order food and beverage items from the menu. Dinner specials also will be offered for the evening.
• Scottish American Society of Dunedin Movie Night — Presented by the Dunedin International Film Festival, the event will run from 7:25 to 8 p.m., at the Scottish American Society of Dunedin, 917 Louden Ave., Dunedin. This non-ticketed event will feature short films with adult themes.
• Caledonia After Party — The Caledonia After Party will be presented from 8 to 11:55 p.m. at Caledonia Brewing, 587 Main St., Dunedin. Following Movie Night, attendees are invited to Caledonia Brewing for the release of a limited edition brew just made for Dunedin Pride Week. Video jockey Hural Knight will be playing music videos on the big screen and TVs during the party.
Thursday, June 16
• Honu Luau Women’s Party — The Honu Luau Women’s Party will run 6 to 9 p.m. at the Honu Restaurant and Tiki Bar, 516 Grant St., Dunedin. Tickets are not required.
Friday, June 17
• The Annual Pride Show & Dance Party — The Annual Pride Show & Dance Party will get underway at 9 p.m. and will continue into Saturday morning, coming to an end at 3 a.m., at Blur, 325 Main St., Dunedin. The event will feature drag queens and drink specials. There is no cover charge.
Saturday, June 18
• Dunedin Pride Gay-Lah — The Dunedin Pride Gay-Lah will run from 5:30 to 11 p.m., at the Fenway Hotel, 453 Edgewater Drive, Dunedin. Tickets are $150 a person and are available online at DunedinPride.com. The party will get underway at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails in the Fenway Bar. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the Gay-Lah. At 11 p.m., attendees may head upstairs for drinks in Hi-Fi. Monica Moore will serve as emcee. There will be a panel of speakers.
“Dunedin is and always has been a welcoming city,” Brady said. “Our arts community, business community, and residents alike embrace diversity. We are doing all of our events for a blend of fun, education and advocacy.”
According to Brady, Dunedin Pride Week events will help raise funds and bring awareness to several nonprofit organizations, including Equality Florida, Empath EPIC and Metro Inclusive Health. Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Established in 1993, Metro Inclusive Health is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides quality health and wellness services that are inclusive, relevant, supportive and represent the lifetime continuum of the diverse people in our community. EPIC — Empath Partners in Care — is a member of Empath Health, a nonprofit integrated network of care supporting those challenged by chronic and advanced illness in the Tampa Bay region. EPIC’s purpose is to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities, regardless of HIV status, gender or sexual identity, by addressing the social determinants of health.
To get involved with Dunedin’s inaugural pride week, contact Gregory Brady at email@example.com or Michael Northrup at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Dunedin Pride Week, visit DunedinPride.com, and follow #DunedinPride on social media.