TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Pride Diversity Parade organizers are dusting off the floats and preparing for the first major Pride celebration in the country for 2022.
Parade Co-Chair, Mark Eary, said there’s a lot of responsibility to kick things off right.
“It weighs on us a lot because we have to show the country what we can do here in Tampa and then they have to follow us,” said Eary.
He expects this Saturday’s parade to be the largest yet with 130 entries signed up to party down 7th Avenue in Ybor City.
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Expected to last three hours, Eary said the parade rivals that of Gasparilla.
“Absolutely, we are right there with them, we have as many entries as they do,” said Eary.
Speaking of Gasparilla, many of the local Krews have decided to trade in the skull and crossbones for the rainbow flags, joining in on the fun.
“It's phenomenal that they want to be diverse with us, stand with us, and we really enjoy having them,” said Eary.
Mark Bias-West remembers the first Tampa Pride parade in 2015. He is overwhelmed by how much it’s grown in such a short amount of time.
“We’re even more proud of our friends, our parents, our families who are coming out here and supporting us too, you know it’s LGBTA, the A stands for allies, and our allies here in Tampa Bay they rock it,” said Bias-West.
These organizers also want to remind everyone that the parade may be in March, but what it stands for, lasts all year long.
“Right now in Florida this is a big step for the LGBTQ to show we have a voice, that we matter,” said Debbie Ducko.