Nightlife » Special Events

Thousands Attend Winter Party Festival 2019, South Florida's Premiere Event for the LGBTQ Community

Friday Mar 8, 2019
Thousands Attend Winter Party Festival 2019,  South Florida's Premiere Event for the LGBTQ Community
  (Source:CourtesyWinter Party Festival)

The Winter Party Festival produced by the National LGBTQ Task Force is one of the world's largest and best-loved celebrations for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities.

The Festival has evolved into a week-long series of events, taking place on Miami Beach and benefiting the LGBTQ community, both locally and nationally. While all proceeds have yet to be tabulated, Festival organizers expect to be making a donation amount similar to last year's $215,000 to critical services and organizations in South Florida in partnership with the LGBTQ Community Fund at the Miami Foundation.

This year, the Winter Party Festival featured dozens of events, from cocktail parties, to stage shows, to health advocacy programs — drawing more than 10,000 attendees over six days. The theme — With Open Arms — focused on the organization's dedication to making the Festival a welcoming environment for all.

"The Festival's theme means we welcome everyone to the LGBTQ movement," said Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. "The Task Force creates spaces for everyone to connect with community while enjoying incredible venues, international artists, and embracing our slogan, 'Be You.' Our radical welcome is an experience across all of the Task Force events, created by our amazing supporters, staff, and volunteers. We are truly grateful for another successful, and fun, Winter Party Festival."

This year's Festival was another major success, with select passes and tickets selling out at many levels. Many events saw record attendance, including two massive parties at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami, Saturday's day party at Nikki Beach Club, and Sunday's crown jewel main event on the sands of South Beach. Other highlights included appearances by RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season one winner Chad Michaels, as well as actor and musician Jai Rodriguez (best known as the culture guide on the Emmy-winning reality show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy").

"The National LGBTQ Task Force's annual Winter Party Festival exemplifies the best of partying with a purpose," said Sarah Massey, director of communications of the National LGBTQ Task Force. "The thousands of Festival participants Live Free, Play Hard, and Give Back. The Task Force mission is about achieving full equality, freedom, and justice for the LGBTQ community and all of us. Winter Party supporters help to make that happen in a truly magical way."

When the partying and celebrations come to a close, the proceeds from the Festival benefit the Task Force and South Florida-based LGBTQ organizations. "Winter Party Festival is presented by the National LGBTQ Task Force, the oldest nonprofit in the United States of its kind," Sergio Orlando, Festival Vice Chair said in a statement. "It is unique in the way that it is a party with a purpose. A significant portion of the funds raised from Winter Party Festival are granted to The Miami Foundation, which distributes the funds to smaller nonprofit organizations in the South Florida area. Since the Task Force has taken over Winter Party Festival, we have donated nearly $3 million dollars to help the advancement of the entire LGBTQ community."

The Festival wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the help of dozens of volunteers who work year-round to coordinate the event. "We have an Executive Committee of 14 people that leads the Festival committee of roughly 90 volunteers," Festival Chair Rene Wolfensberger explained in a statement. "They work year round to plan and ensure that the festival is a fun celebration. And during the week of the Festival we are recruiting around 500 volunteers who execute what the committee has planned. Volunteers are the reason this event runs so smoothly, and their personalities and uniqueness makes this event so amazing and successful year after year."


About Winter Party Festival

Winter Party Festival is an iconic week-long celebration of diverse LGBTQ people from all over the world who come together to learn, live, laugh, and forge lifelong relationships. Proceeds from the annual Winter Party Festival support the Task Force's local and national advocacy, organizing, and leadership development work for LGBTQ people.


About National LGBTQ Task Force

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice, and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we've made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That's why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can #BeYou.

Major sponsors for 2019 includes: Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority, Shelborne South Beach, Bacardi, Miller Coors, WorldPride NYC | Stonewall 50, Impulse Group, The Art of Shaving, Surterra Wellness, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, AIDS United, Avita Pharmacy,

Axel Hotel Miami Beach, Prevention 305, SCRUFF, Toca Events, Walgreens, Atlantic Broadband, Edge Media Network, HomoCulture, HOTSpots!, Passport Magazine, Queerty, WIREMAG

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Comments

Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook