Winter Party, Bar History, Music and Film

Courtesy of Claudia Castillo Gallery.

Winter Party Festival the annual, week-long celebration of music, dance, and community, produced by the National LGBTQ Task Force to raise critical funds for the LGBTQ movement, takes place Feb. 28–March 5, in Miami Beach and Wilton Manors.

Founded in 1994, the original Winter Party featured a single event: a dance party on the beach. It was an instant hit, and Winter Party has grown ever since, becoming an iconic week-long festival featuring dozens of events and drawing crowds by the thousands from around the globe. Supporters come to soak up the sun, breathe in the ocean air, and to party. The event is a fundraising venture produced by, and in support of, the National LGBTQ Task Force and the LGBTQ+ Equity Fund, a philanthropic and grant-making partnership between the Task Force, The Miami Foundation, and Our Fund Foundation. Since 2005, it’s given back more than $3.3 million and supported nearly 90 community organizations in South Florida.

A video slideshow featuring a record-breaking 2,500+ gay bar logos will be unveiled at Stonewall Museum’s annual gala, “Standing on the Shoulders of Heroes", on Feb. 24. In October 2023, the Stonewall National Museum Archives & Library and GayBarchives launched a groundbreaking program dubbed “Raising The Bars” focused on elevating the history, culture, and representation of LGBTQ bars in the annals of history. Only a few months have passed since the announcement, and already the program is making great strides toward the mission. GayBarchives founder Art Smith, a driving force behind “Raising The Bars,” has spent thousands of hours cataloging and digitally reconstructing these logos as part of this project. Many of the elusive images existed only in time-worn photos and poorly preserved clippings from gay “rags” of the day.

The South Florida Symphony Orchestra will celebrate 26 years at its “Ode to Joy” gala on March 3 at Broward Center. The black-tie optional event will honor this year’s “Sound of Success” regional arts advocates. The gala will include pre-show champagne and hors d’oeuvres and a multi-course dinner. Immediately following will be a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 featuring one hundred voices from the South Florida Symphony Chorus, including talented singers from Barry University, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, and the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida. Tickets for the “Ode to Joy” gala start at $350 for the pre-show reception, dinner, and post-show reception and $475.

The Donald M. Ephraim Sun & Stars International Film Festival screens 25 films from Feb. 27–March 5 at the Rinker Playhouse at the Kravis Center and March 8-11 at the Paragon Theaters at Delray Marketplace. “Taking Venice” opens the festival. Based on historical events, the documentary plays like a whodunit as it examines a 1964 scheme by U.S. government officials to hijack the Grand Prize of the venerable Venice Biennale, considered the Olympics of the art world, and ensure that it is awarded to an American.

In “Jamie Wyeth and the Unflinching Eye,” Glenn Holsten explores his relationship with his father Andrew Wyeth, and his grandfather N.C. Wyeth, and his unique working relationship with subjects including Rudolf Nureyev, Andy Warhol, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became close personal friends. In addition to these offerings, the festival also highlights romantic comedies, family dramas, Jewish-themed dramas, chronicles of street-level activism, and films delving into human rights issues. Festival goers will have the opportunity to sneak-preview many films that will open theatrically later this year. For the full list of participating theaters and scheduled movies, visit

Correction: A few weeks back, I mentioned that there would be a revival of the wonderful play “Daniel’s Husband”. I credited it to Dan Clancy. It was actually written by another very talented local playwright Michael McKeever. I admire both men very much. I apologize for the mix-up.


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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