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Fort Lauderdale to Launch Pride of the Americas in 2020

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© Getty Images PHOTO: Group of People Waving Gay Pride Flags (photo courtesy of Rawpixel/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

By Paul Heney, TravelPulse

At last week’s International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Annual Global Convention, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the first ever Pride of the Americas celebration, which will be held from April 17-26, 2020. We spoke with J.W. Arnold, who handles Marketing & Public Relations for Pride Fort Lauderdale, about this exciting new development.

TravelPulse: Tell us about the genesis of Pride of the Americas?

J.W. Arnold: This is the first time that Pride of the Americas has been held. We bid to host World Pride in Fort Lauderdale and we weren’t chosen. But we decided: what a great opportunity to take all that work and the creativity and the planning and turn it into an event that people can enjoy. And since Europe has EuroPride every other year, we thought, why not create a festival that people can have in the Western Hemisphere every other year?

So, it might be in Fort Lauderdale in 2020, but it could be in Brazil or Argentina or Chile, or Costa Rica or Canada two years later? We really looked at the types of events that we could offer. Fortunately, we live in a beach destination, so we’re going to have a huge beach party. In addition to that, we’ll be having a performing arts conference and a human rights conference.

Fort Lauderdale is also home to the World AIDS Museum & Educational Center and home to the Stonewall National Museum and Archives. We have opportunities to tap into these national resources to create programming that's going to be educational and interesting to a wide variety of audiences who might want to join us in April of 2020.

TP: Who are you partnering with on the event?

JA: We’re working very closely with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau; we’re also working closely with virtually every LGBTQ and mainstream organization in the community. And we’ve really pulled together a fantastic team that’s committed to making this experience amazing for everyone who joins us—from our service providers to our arts organizations to our educational institutions. Everyone in Fort Lauderdale is going to be involved in one way or another in Pride of the Americas. We’ll have all the updated available at PrideoftheAmericas.org, and that’ll be up very soon.

TP: Do you have a specific goal for how many people you want to attract?

JA: We’re shooting for 350,000 people on Fort Lauderdale Beach, which would make Pride of the Americas one of the largest LGBTQ events in the history of Florida. We have more than enough hotel rooms, we have Airbnb and misterb&b and a host of other affordable accommodations available. And you know, people are very resourceful—they’ll find a place to stay if they need to, too. So, we’re confident whoever would like to come out and celebrate with us on the beach will be able to.

TP: How will you promote the event beyond the United States?

JA: We’re working with partners in other countries to promote the event and do cross promotions. And we’re really fortunate to have the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, which has offices In New York and in Brazil and in Europe, to help us to get the word out about this amazing event.

TP: Looking to the future, what about 2022?

JA: We’re looking at that, and we want this to be a very inclusive event. And so, there’s a possibility that it might move, or it might return. We still don’t know yet, that’s a bit up in the air. We’re really focused on pulling off the first one. But I think well before we hit the beach in April of 2020, we will have a good idea of what the future will hold for us.

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Travel - U.S. Daily News: Fort Lauderdale to Launch Pride of the Americas in 2020
Fort Lauderdale to Launch Pride of the Americas in 2020
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