City Saves June’s Stonewall Festival in Wilton Manors

Stonewall Pride Parade 2023. Photo by JR Davis.

Welcome to “The City of Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Festival and Parade.”

That is now the official name of the annual June street party on Wilton Drive. At their March 26 meeting, city commissioners unanimously voted to become the exclusive title sponsor of the event.

The move comes after months of speculation that the event could be canceled this year after the 2023 festival lost money and still has outstanding bills. Rather than cancel or award the permit to a new organization, the city worked with Stonewall CEO Jeff Sterling to come on board.

The cost is $50,000 which will be used to clear 2023 security and safety debts as well as make a “down payment” to Broward Sheriff's Office for this year’s security. This gives the city much more than their name in the title and bragging rights. The deal gives them much more oversight and input.

Stonewall and Sterling will post a bond of $160,000 as a security deposit of sorts to make sure bills are paid and help the city recover some money if the event is canceled.

The agreement goes on to detail marketing expenditures, VIP passes, and other details. The motion, which was debated at length in January, passed with almost no discussion. Commissioner Don D’Arminio wanted to make sure there would be “cashless” ticketing and was told that is part of the overall agreement.

Stonewall will need to file receipts and other financial reports by August and comply with all applicable public records laws.

Last year was the first time in years that Stonewall lost money. The event was overshadowed by political attacks and new laws targeting drag entertainment. They were written so vaguely that no one could tell what was allowed and what wasn’t.

Florida’s fight with the LGBTQ community also scared off sponsors who didn’t want to pick a fight with Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration.

To cap it all off, soaking rains went on until early evening and depressed turnout.

Sterling, commissioners, and people close to the event believe this year won’t be nearly as oppressive, at least politically. As for the weather? It’ll be hot. It’ll be humid. It might rain. So pack an umbrella.


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


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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