Big Changes at Stonewall Pride

Stonewall Pride Festival 2023. Photo by JR Davis.

From before you arrive through everything you’ll find inside, this year’s Stonewall Pride will have a different look and feel. From cashless entry to an LED stage to more embracement of the leather community, to a later start of the parade, the experience will be unlike past years.

The party is June 15. Gates open at 3 p.m.

Here are the changes and a few reminders of what to bring (and what not to bring).

Getting In: There are three entrances: one by Tulio’s, one at the other end of Wilton Drive by Bona Italian, and the other by the main stage at 6th Ave. The 6th Ave. entrance will be further back from The Drive.

For the first time, all entry/ticketing is cashless. Tickets can be purchased in advance through Stonewall’s website. Prices are $10 in advance and $13 day of. If you want to pay on-site with a credit card, it’s $20. To cut down on wait times, there will be dedicated lines for people who pay in advance, including people who buy online the day of.

Parking: Finding a space on or near The Drive is tough on an average Saturday, much less when 20,000+ people show up. Due to the festival’s layout, this year there will be 20% less parking. People are encouraged to use rideshares.

Do NOT Bring: Bags, backpacks, purses. Due to security, no bags are allowed inside the event space. Clear, vinyl bags that are up to 12”x12”x6”, as well as fanny packs, and clutch bags that are 5”x7” will be allowed.

Pets. While you may want to have your four-legged friends with you, it will be very hot and very crowded. Access to shade and water could be scarce. Post a picture of them in their most fab Pride gear, then leave them at home in the AC.

Weapons. Knives, guns, or other objects that could be used in an attack are prohibited. If you are found with a weapon, you will likely be ejected and possibly arrested.

DO Bring: Identification. Some bars may require ID even if you are clearly older than 21, and legally they can’t serve you without ID.

Cash. Some places may only accept cash at outdoor service areas, or, to speed up the process, they may have lines for people using cash.

Credit Cards. Beyond the gates, some places may have credit only policies.

Your phone. Everyone is encouraged to take and post as many pictures and videos as possible.

The Parade: The Glow Night Parade will step off at 8 p.m. The start time has been pushed back in the hopes that afternoon rains will have passed, and cooler temperatures will prevail.

“We want to give Wilton Manors a new experience that enhances the parade. There aren’t a lot of nighttime parades, and we want to stand out,” said Stonewall CEO Jeff Sterling.

The staging area will be around Dairy Queen to City Hall. Fort Lauderdale High School is not being used this year.

The route, from Tulio’s to Bona Italian, remains the same.

Security: Wilton Manors Police is working with other local law enforcement agencies to provide security the day of the event. Many will be in uniform and visible. Others will be more discrete. Snipers and lookouts will be on some buildings, and plain-clothed officers will mingle with the crowd.

Organizers and the city are also working with federal agencies and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Warnings have been issued for the LGBTQ community, but no specific threats have been made (or disclosed) towards Stonewall.

During the most recent city commission meeting, WMPD Assistant Police Chief Darren Brodsky said, “We did receive an alert from our federal partners regarding information from overseas. There was intelligence, as often there is, that suggests there could be threats against LGBTQ+ communities. We are aware of these threats. We have put a plan together that is intelligence based.”

“I can promise this community that we take all threats seriously and will ensure that we have enough resources and personnel that we will act on any credible intelligence.”

The Party: Now we get to the fun stuff.

New this year, Eagle will host Leather & Bear Pride in the parking lot behind their building, catering to the leather folk and bears. While it is in Eagle’s backyard, Eagle owner Chuck King says it’s a community effort.

“We will have an entertainment stage with local DJ’s and some performers, vendors specific to the Leather & Bear culture, food trucks and more. Ramrod, Eagle, Leatherwerks and other organizations are participating to make it a great area to visit during the Pride Festival.”

Due to new logistics for the parade, the Women’s stage and air-conditioned lounge will be down on 7th Ave. by the SunServe building. The lounge will be an extra fee.

The Manor is upgrading their party plans. Instead of a traditional stage, this year they’re constructing an LED wall outside the building with a DJ in the center. The area is always packed for this event. This plan creates a three lane dance floor, or about ⅓ more space.

VIP will be outside in the parking lot of the former Wilton Collective building, while the new Black Excellence Lounge will be by the Black Excellence Stage, also referred to as the main stage.


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


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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