South Florida Observes World AIDS Day Dec. 1

Courtesy of Glen Weinzimer/SMART Ride.

The AIDS Quilt is far too big to ever be displayed in its entirety again. Each unique panel is dedicated to a life lost to HIV/AIDS. After 40 years, it would cover more space than any urban space could provide.

As the quilt grows, so does its reach. World AIDS Day is Dec. 1. On that day and Friday, sections will be on display at Hagen Park in Wilton Manors from noon to 5 p.m. The quilt panels started their South Florida tour in Key West at the closing of the SMART Ride on Nov. 18.

Midland Medical, along with local activists Jimmy Cunningham and Steve Margolis worked to offset shipping costs.

“Our city is an amazing and bustling LGBTQ+ community. It’s only fitting that the quilt is represented in Wilton Manors,” Cunningham said.

The quilt is not the only World AIDS Day event in South Florida. CAN Community Health will hold the official opening ceremony on Dec. 1 at 8:30 a.m. at the Galleria Mall.

The event will be headlined by the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida (GMCSF) and their artistic director Gabe Salazar. Other guest speakers and performers include Lenora Jaye, Velvet Lenore, and Kal Bul. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis will address the crowd.

Later that day, Broward House is hosting its annual candlelight walk and vigil from Hagen Park to The Pride Center at Equality Park on Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. At the center, participants can get free, rapid HIV tests done.

Compass GLCC in Lake Worth Beach will also exhibit quilt panels throughout the county from World AIDS Day through Dec. 15. Locations include MCC of the Palm Beaches, Hatch 1121, JFK Hospital at their main and north campuses, West Palm Hospital, Lynn University, and more.

Their ceremony and quilt unveiling begin at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1. This year’s theme is "Let Communities Lead," and it’s a cue local activists take to heart.

“The quilt represents a time when AIDS was a death sentence,” SMART Ride founder and 30-year survivor Glen Weinzimer said. “There are things the quilt represents that may not be obvious to the naked eye. Each individual [panel] is about the size of an average coffin. It allowed those grieving from the quick and ugly death that, so many suffered to remember, memorialize and share this experience. The quilt means different things to different people.”

Champ305 is hosting "A Celebration of Life at Liberty Square" from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Liberty Square Community Center. The event will feature raffles, giveaways, and free food.


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


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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