by Pride Community Center of North Central Florida
On Saturday, Oct. 26, Gainesville residents and others will gather for the 2013 Gainesville Pride Parade at noon at 7th Street and West University Ave. The parade will travel to Bo Diddley Plaza downtown, ending at the annual Pride Festival.
The festival will feature local music acts, vendors and a kids’ space. The event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida and the City of Gainesville Department of Cultural Affairs.
The origins of today’s Pride celebrations are generally credited to the Stonewall Rebellion of June 28, 1969. One year later marches were held in New York, Chicago, L.A., and San Francisco, and within a few years they spread to cities beyond the U.S. In the 1980s, Pride celebrations expanded beyond the march format and became weekend-long festivals in many cities.
In the 1990s, Pride celebrations began making transgender inclusion a priority. In 2000 President Bill Clinton made history when he declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.”
President Barack Obama declared June “LGBT Pride Month.” The Gainesville Pride Festival was moved to October in 2000 to encourage students at UF to participate and to use the better fall weather. Since moving to October, the festival has increased in size yearly, and in 2012 over 5,000 residents and visitors participated in events.
For more information on Gainesville Pride Days, visit gainesvillepride.org/pridedays2013.