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Tampa Pride Parade to be the country’s first of 2021

Posted at 11:16 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 23:27:52-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa’s annual Pride Diversity Parade returns Saturday, May 22, after the pandemic put a pause on large-scale events and celebrations.

Organizers were given the green light by city officials just last month and are now working day and night to prepare for the parade that spans the Historic Ybor City district.

“For the community, this is a time to come together,” said co-chair Trevor James. “It’s all about unity, it’s all about diversity and celebrating diversity.”

James is now helping plan the event he says gave him so much during his high school years in Tampa.

“It’s hard to put it into words,” said James. “I’m getting goosebumps right now just thinking about it. The one word that I can think of that would describe that is acceptance.”

According to Tampa Pride, Saturday’s festival marks the first Pride parade in the United States this year.

“Tampa is going to be bombarded with a lot of Pride officers around the country in different cities to see what’s going on and how we do it a little bit differently,” said Tampa Pride president Carrie West.

Attendees won’t be greeted by dozens of street vendors this time around. City officials are requiring all food and drink sales to go through licensed food trucks or food carts.

For the first time, organizers are hosting Pride Night, which will feature live music and entertainment after the parade, which starts at 4 p.m.

The festival usually draws about 70,000 people.

“Come out, march down the streets and feel like you can be yourself and have thousands and thousands of people cheer you on,” said James.

ABC Action News is an official sponsor of the Tampa Pride 2021 Diversity Parade. You can watch the parade live on ABC Action News streaming news channel.

You can find information on parking, the parade route, and how to volunteer here.