Miami Beach Gay Pride festival draws thousands

Sun. April 17, 2011 2:57 PM by News Staff

andy cohen with mr. gay usa 2011 at miami beach pride

photo credit // andy cohen twitter feed
Miami, FL - Thousands of people from all walks of life came from across Florida and the world Saturday to celebrate at the third-annual Miami Beach Gay Pride festival, the largest single-day event of the year in Miami Beach.

Numerous celebrities and VIPs joined more than 66 entrants and 1,2000 participants marched in solidarity during a bold and colorful parade with Andy Cohen, host of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, serving as this year's Grand Marshall.

Cohen waved to the energetic crowd from the back of a Rolls Royce. The Bravo executive and star later tweeted a few photos, including a one with Mr. Gay USA 2011.

The parade, which lasted 90 minutes and traveled down Ocean Drive along the Art Deco district from 5th to 12th streets, included spectacular floats filled with beautiful young men and women in beautiful and sexy costumes and swimsuits.

Another highlight of the parade was a salute to "Legacy Couples" – committed LGBT partners who have been together for 20 or more years who participated in the parade together in recognition of their commitment and in affirmation of marriage equality. 

Continuing her long-standing support of the LGBT community, DJ Tracy Young was a special guest in the parade fresh off her recent guest appearance on "The Real Housewives of Miami." 
Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower and several of the city's commissioners and staff rode atop a specially designed float and many of the entries in the parade will echo this year's "Super Hero" theme of empowerment.

The parade ended at the Miami Beach Pride Festival and Expo, an enormous free festival with exciting celebrities and musical performances which included Merengue star Elvis Crespo.

Organizers have not yet provided attendance numbers, but last year's festival drew 35,000 people and organizers estimated a 50% increase in attendance this year.