TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa businesses have got a big day ahead of them as they prepare for Tampa’s Pride Parade coming up on Saturday.
It’s the first pride parade in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. Businesses in Ybor City and across Tampa are looking forward to the boost in business as people come to celebrate from all over.
“It is, by far, the busiest day of the year. And it totally helps get through all those rough patches,” said Bradley Nelson, Owner of Bradley’s on 7th.
Except for this year, in turn, it’s going to help recoup from the rough patch businesses are leaving behind them.
“Last year, I had already pre-ordered all my alcohol and had $30,000 worth of liquor sitting in the back when we got the word that we were closed. And that was $30,000 in cash I really could’ve used,” said Nelson.
Luckily liquor doesn’t go bad, and he’s using it for this year’s pride parade instead—a celebration long-awaited.
“The fact that it goes in front of my business, you can’t ask for anything better. I mean, this is something extremely great for all of Ybor,” said Nelson.
But it’s not even just for Ybor.
“Tampa Pride is about Tampa; it’s not about just Ybor, it’s about Tampa,” said James Encke, Owner of City Side Lounge.
City Side Lounge in South Tampa is expecting a near 20% increase in business this weekend, as the city welcomes around 60,000 people for the celebration.
“It’s about all of us. We want everybody to have a great time. Celebrate who you are because we are gonna celebrate who you are just as we are gonna celebrate who we are,” said Encke.
The parade starts Saturday at 4:00 p.m. The celebration continues with Pride Night, featuring live music and entertainment afterward.
For more information on the celebration, click here.