Pride on the Block, ROCKED!
Pride on the Block, our annual pride block party and fundraiser, took place on Friday, June 2nd, and Saturday, June 3rd, 2023 in West Palm Beach.
We strived to create a community-based celebration that demonstrates LGBTQ+ pride on the 500 block of Clematis Street. Together with local residents, activists and organizations, we aimed to create a vibrant and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies. This year, we organized the festivities on the 500 block of Clematis Street with a family-friendly expansion to The Square.
On Friday night, we reintroduced the talented Chris ‘Ab Fab’ Rhoades of Next Level Talent, a local event producer. The night was filled with glitz, glam, and heartfelt performances. From performers jumping off the stage, to genuine tributes to the late Tina Tuner, the amount of fun, excitement, and celebration was palpable. This night returned a sense of normalcy and created an affirming space for our community.
Despite the rain, thousands of people showed up to the Saturday festivities. The day began with vendors, sponsors, and organizers shuffling to keep products dry and covered under tents. We worked vigorously together to keep the event bustling for all.
At the Square, we reimagined activities into a smaller space to accommodate the rain. Family-friendly activities were presented by Rohi’s Readery and Teen Youth Activities were sponsored by Compass LGBTQ Community Center. Stations were consistently filled with joy as local youth made crafts, got glammed up with face painting and their parents perused the vendors that braved the rain. We commemorated the kick-off of Pride month with the lighting of the Wishing Tree in pride colors. Each night in June, everyone has the opportunity to see the display.
From early morning, the 500 block of Clematis street was lined with vendors and sponsors including other local LGBTQ+ nonprofits. The Florida weather ebbed and flowed, moving us in and out of tents. Amidst the back and forth, we braved the weather with a purpose. Drying off tables and uncovering products was little consequence to promoting love and equality. Participants consistently left tents with smiles on their faces.
As the performers took to the stage on the east end of the block, fans and onlookers remained steadfast in the rain. Singers, dancers, DJs and inspiring speakers electrified the crowds. Montana State Representative Zooey Zephyr energized the crowd with reminders of the joy and courage that pride represents while esteemed journalist, Erin Reed, empowered listeners with messages of resilience and resistance. It was an honor to welcome these two powerhouses into our community!
As the day went on and the weather began to clear, our local queer artists took the stage and filled the block with melodic music. From contemporary fusions of R&B, hip hop and pop to soulful renditions of popular LGBTQ+ anthems, we started dancing the night away. Our performances hyped up crowds and drew in passersby. Together, we created a safe place for all to listen to music! Towards the latter part of the night, our headliners, Ezra Michel and Ryan Cassata entered the spotlight. Ezra’s acoustic performance had the crowd singing along creating an interactive experience. Ryan brought pop, rock, dance and more, jazzing the crowd into celebrating pride into the night.
First and foremost, Pride on the Block is our annual fundraiser! We raise funds to provide the necessary resources for LGBTQIA+ individuals to create a solid foundation for a healthy and fulfilling life. We provide financial assistance to LGBTQ+ folx for housing, healthcare, behavioral health services, job training, acquiring necessary dailies, and more. We truly could not do what we do without the devotion and support of all who participated.
4th Annual Pride On The Block Pictures 2023!
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