Peace, Love & Pride Celebrates Diversity 

Despite the official Peace, Love & Pride Festival parade being canceled, the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band stole the show with live band music and choreographed dancing.

Music and rainbow-splashed celebration filled the area in and around the Historic Gulfport Casino on Sunday, February 10 at the Peace, Love & Pride Festival. 

From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., downtown Gulfport was dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ community, thanks to sponsors ProSisters Radio and the city of Gulfport.

Hours’ worth of female-artist specific programming from ProSisters Radio streamed from speakers outside the Casino. 

The festivities kicked off after a few words from guest speakers, including Florida State Representative Jennifer Webb. 

Pride attendees browsed LGBTQ-related booths and listened to live music as women’s beach volleyball reigned on the courts on Gulfport Beach. Crowds from Peace, Love & Pride and from the Gulfport Fine Arts Festival in the adjacent Veteran’s Park mingled together as the two events merged on the waterfront.  

Due to the congestion of events in the area, the planned Peace, Love & Pride parade was canceled, along with the Chili Cookoff, according to festival organizer Amy Oatley. 

“Next year we won’t have so much going on at the same time, and we will actually have a parade,” Oatley said. 

The cancelations didn’t bother the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band, however, who paraded their energetic music around the Casino.

Tie-dye filled the streets as the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band made their way through the downtown area at the inaugural Peace, Love & Pride Festival on Sunday, February 10.

Per Gulfport usual, pets were welcome at the Peace, Love & Pride Festival. Carol Granese decked out her pets, Kelly and Chloe especially for the event. “I just love festivals and Gulfport,” Granese said. “I like to see people live life on their own terms.”

Women’s beach volleyball was a hit at the Sunday pride event, played on the courts of Gulfport Beach.

Floyd Gale and Stephanie St. Denny watched the marching band musically cruise through the downtown Gulfport area. “It’s great to be here,” St. Denny said.


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