Miami Beach Pride 2019
What can I say? It’s Miami Beach. This is the earliest Pride of the year. It gets so hot here by June that they celebrate at the beginning of April when, in theory, the Beach weather is still bearable. In theory.
Make sure to bring full spf 100 sunscreen, all your booty shorts and mesh, and every cute slider you have in your collection: we going to Miami!
Perez Art Museum: Pride Community Night
I highly recommend starting off your Pride by visiting the Perez Art Museum on its Pride Community Night the Thursday before festivities begin. Entry is free, and includes the cute party with performances and DJ’s in the back courtyard facing the bay, as well as entrance to the entire museum. For free, girl.
The party is located in the back on the courtyard that faces the bay between mainland Miami and Miami Beach. It’s stunning! Beautiful views of downtown Miami, framed by palm trees, ocean breeze, and the sounds of perreo wafting through the speakers on a warm 75 degree night. This is Miami.
The show is a cute collection of fabulous drag performers from South Florida showing their best, hot dj’s getting the party going, and great snacky treats including tacos and elotes. Full bars are available in at least 3 different locations on the outdoor patio, and selfie situations abound. Taking a break in a floating hammock overlooking the water is also a must.
The collection at the PAMM will rotate every few months, but this year I was treated to an absolutely jaw dropping exhibition by Ebony G. Patterson, which alone was worth the entry.
Ambience: ★★★★★ (Classy yet sassy)
Food: ★★★★ (Churros y elote, yes!)
Crowd: ★★★★ Intergenerational, artsy)
Parking: ★★ (Pricey)
Music: ★★★ (Fun but not worth leaving the museum for)
A Sunset Pride Celebration
I absolutely went to this because I was curious to see the inside of the Standard Spa Miami Beach, the uber fancy location for this event. I had dreams of hanging out in the hot tub, getting my nails done, and watching the sunset over the water. What I got was OK.
Honestly, I didn’t know this but a lot of party cruises take off on Pride Friday afternoon for an evening of gay-ass party boat fun on the Miami waters. I wish I would’ve known that and booked myself on one instead. I love party boats. Oh well, next year.
The views at the Standard are beautiful: you’re overlooking the water from the side of a pool ringed with palm trees, and breezy island music floats in the background where pool attendants in crisp white uniforms tend to your needs.
But the party itself left much to be desired: the crowd was a thin mix of older gay men, many of whom worked for the corporate sponsors of the event, the grandly introduced European DJ who just flew in for the event played from what I’m sure was a Spotify playlist, and the parking, OMG, the parking.
On top of the $35 you’ll drop for entrance to this poolside party, you’ll be departing with a cool $30 extra in valet parking fees. Despite the name of the hotel, it is not actually located in Miami Beach proper. It’s located on an island before you reach Miami Beach, with not a single parking spot available for non-residents of said island. Your only choice, which the front desk will happily inform you of, is to valet park your car.
Be warned: do not drive to the Standard. Park your car at Miami Beach and take an Uber over. You’ve been warned.
Ambience: ★★★★ (Chill & classy)
Crowd: ★★ (Eh, ok)
Parking: -★ (take an Uber)
Music: ★ (Were you trying tho?)
Official Pride Kick Off Party: The Basement
I love the Basement. It’s a large club situated in thee basement of a fancy Miami Beach hotel called the Edition. You get to the club by walking straight through the grand hotel entrance. It is filled with white leather couches, 30 ft palm trees, and glass table tops. Eventually, you will arrive at gold elevator doors that take you down to one of the most unique clubs I’ve ever seen. And I’ve been around.
To your left you will find the rec room, complete with full bar, neon bowling alley, and iconic rainbow ice skating rink. The DJ plays really great dance party music you already know, there’s a few “white girl wasted” ladies on the ice skating rink, and the drag queen host of the bowling alley is in full party mode.
To the right is the large dance floor, a chill on the couch area decked with balloons and neon, and a pool table. Another, albeit, smaller bar is back here for those who can find it. The dance floor is full of deliriously happy gays who have spent a lot of time in the sun and are now ready to dance till the sun comes up. Literally.
This party starts at midnight and goes until 6am, and everyone is here to get their money’s worth. I highly recommend coming in between 12 and 1 am, by 1:30 there was a 45 min wait to get inside. Not cute on a hot Miami night.
Ambience: ★★★★★ (Very fun!)
Crowd: ★★★★★ (Very cute–gays & queers for all kinds here)
Parking: ★★ (Not so cute, get here early or Uber)
Music: ★★★★ (Fun, though not very original)
Drugs: ★★★★ (On full display)
Saturday Pride Pool Party: The Clevelander
This is one of those parties I went to because I have always wanted to check out the venue. But, as it turns out this is not a good reason to buy party tickets yet again.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with the Clevelander: the pool is nice, though it’s a stretch to call this a pool party. It’s only 5 ft long! The music is your typical party jams that you always dance to, and there’s misters set up everywhere to keep you cool in the Miami heat. The real problem is, no ones here.
The Clevelander is $40 to attend and is a few block down from where the action is: Lummus Park, Miami Beach. However, because the park is free, right next to the beach, features tons of food options and even more selfie spots, it’s far more popular than this spot.
If you really need a place to recharge and cool down after a hot day, you want to wear a cool wristband that says “Clevelander” all day. If you’re wanting to be nostalgic about the Spring Break pool parties that made the Clevelander the spot to be, then by all means, spend the money. But otherwise, just go to the beach on Saturday and cruise away.
Ambience: ★★ (Empty but cool)
Crowd: ★ (Where is everyone?)
Music: ★★ (Not Memorable but not terrible)
Food: ★ ($16 hamburgers)
Miami Beach Pride Festival, Lummus Park
Saturday & Sunday
This is the place to be. Beautiful beach background, towering palm trees, rainbow flags freely blowing in the tropical breeze. You really can’t go wrong with Miami Beach Pride. Just remember to bring your sunscreen.
There’s a large food court featuring Puerto Rican food, Italian fare, and Greek gyros, so take your pick, all day. The Venezuelan style arepas and iced lemonades abound in Miami. Fair food is plentiful here, so absolutely try it. If you go both days you’ll enjoy a Saturday that is walkable and enjoyable and you’ll be able to check out the fairgrounds and vendor stands. The same can’t be said for Sunday.
The Miami Beach Pride Parade proper is on Sunday on Ocean Drive, and is the typical parade you’ll find all over the country: corporate sponsors, cute gays in leather gear, and free swag of all varieties with rainbows printed on them. The more unique Miami stylings would be full head to toe raver style costumes celebrating the local sports teams, Venezuelan flags in protest of the crisis in the country, and the “welcome to Miami” get-up, in as many unique variations imaginable.
Be warned, thought, the parade is more than 1.5 hours long, and the heat reaches over 85 degrees on the concrete.
The dance party at Lummus Park after the parade is not to be missed. The space-inspired decorations above the dance floor blast dubstep, reggeaton, house, perreo, and raver remixes that truly transport you to some beautiful, ethereal gay dreamland in the tropics. Swoon!
Music: ★★★★★ Yes!)
Food: ★★★★★ (Everything you could ever want or need bb)
Sun: ★★★★★ (Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat–you will burn)
Crowd: ★★★★★ (Hot & bothered)
Drugs: ★★★★ (Is alcohol a drug because wow)