Celebrate Orgullo

By: Ian Maloney | Oct 3, 2018

Celebrate Orgullo, South Florida’s Hispanic LGBT Pride Festival, marks its 8th anniversary.

It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month and Celebrate Orgullo, South Florida’s Hispanic LGBT Pride Festival is back again with tons of activities from October 1-15 and all things Celia Cruz. Azucar!

Azucar! Miami has been an LGBTQ mecca for decades and nobody does a celebration the way we do them here, especially a gay festival. This year, Celebrate Orgullo, South Florida’s Hispanic LGBT Pride Festival is dedicated to the queen of Salsa, the singer who has inspired a million drag queens, the unforgettable Celia Cruz. There are plenty of Pride events all around the globe, but you will be hard pressed to find a 15-day festival highlighting the Hispanic LGBTQ community and National Hispanic Heritage Month anywhere else. Leave it to Miami to bring the fiesta nonstop for two weeks. ¿Cómo?

Founded in 2011, Celebrate Orgullo was born out of an initiative from former Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower, who made it her mission to promote the Hispanic LGBTQ community. Along with many other community members, Bower was supported from the beginning by Herb Sosa, Director of Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida, a local LGBTQ organization with the mission to promote equality and fairness for South Florida’s Latinx Hispanic community. When asked how Celebrate Orgullo has grown over the years, Sosa said: “Celebrate Orgullo has gone from a one-day outdoor festival on the beach facing Ocean Drive, to 15 days of Arts, Culture, Fashion, Music, Food, Film and Heritage. We have stage events in North Beach, Hialeah, South Dade, Coral Gables, Little Havana, and even in Miami’s Museum Park! In 2016 we refocused our programming putting emphasis on Hispanic LGBT Arts, Culture and Heritage events, and less on a street fair. We love a good fair like anyone else – but there are plenty of those.”

The events are divided into several categories- activismo, bus tours, art & drag, and music & poetry. There are several events in each category, and while some promise to bring about more good times than others, all are important, especially the activismo events which all highlight the Hispanic LGBTQ community.

Things get kicked off on October 1st at 4 p.m. with a Human Rights Forum on Media Activism in LGBTQ+ Communities in Latin America featuring Michael Lavers & Lynare Robins. The forum will take place at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus. Later that evening, strap your wig on tight and get yourself over to Hotel Gaythering to play bingo and kiki with Miami’s own Miss Tiffany Fantasia, who hosts the party which starts at 8 p.m. Don’t miss one of their delicious hand crafted cocktails, they are delish!

The next evening, Tuesday, October 2, the Betsy Hotel will host the first Music & Poetry event - Noche de Jazz y Poesia which starts at the Alley Bistro with a special chef selected menu, followed by a night of talents, featuring the music of EnVEE & poesias by Emilio Aponte-Sierra. Tickets are $40. EnVEE’s bright pink hair, her beautiful, soulful voice, and her ability to kick it in Spanish or in English make her the perfect representation of everything good about the Latina LGBTQ community in Miami. She is as MIAMI as cafecito!

The first weekend of the festival (October 6-7) come out to celebrate the intersection of art and drag, with Art Diva Bus tours. From 2-4 p.m., guests will tour the city. They will be met at ArteFundamental Gallery in Little Haiti, driven to the Sagamore Hotel art exhibit in Miami Beach, then to the American Museum of Cuban Diaspora for a first look and exhibit preview of the new Celia Cruz exhibit. The exhibit, along with Celebrate Orgullo’s partnership with the Celia Cruz foundation has been years in the making and will really take the festival to a new level! Food and more importantly, drinks will be provided by El Rey de Las Fritas, and as if things could get any better, the hostess for the evening will be DragDiva AnnATOMIC, who will escort the tour while providing the entertainment for the afternoon.

Events continue throughout the fortnight but perhaps the highlight of them all will be the Night of a Thousand Celias. Don your best Celia CosPlay drag or tropical black tie and get one of the first opportunities to preview the Celia Cruz exhibit at the Museum of Cuban Diaspora. MaryTrini will be presented with the Legends Honors Award and the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus will perform. Tickets are $80 or $120 for two and proceeds will benefit the LGBT scholarship fund and other community outreach programs provided by Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida.

For more information and the full calendar of events, visit CelebrateOrgullo.com.

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