TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Pride is hosting the first-ever “Pride On The River” celebration Saturday to kick off Pride season 2022.
The end-of-summer celebration features a Diversity Boat Parade, which started at 3 p.m. on the Hillsborough River, that went all the way to Armature Works.
“LGBT people in Tampa Bay, we want them to feel welcome, we want them to feel included. We want them to feel supported and this is a great way to come out and celebrate,” Pride On The River Co-Director Nicolas Catania said.
Pride On The River kicked off at 1 p.m. with a Drag Brunch at Anchor & Brine located at Tampa’s Marriott Water Street. The Drag Brunch was hosted by Brianna Summers.
After the Diversity Boat Parade down the Hillsborough River, celebrations continued at Armature Works for the Riverside Festival with music, food, and family-friendly fun. The festival is open to the public from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is free to attend.
“Visibility is so important for our community, if we have visibility, then we can reduce the amount of stress on younger people and allow them to feel more comfortable with themselves,” Pride On The River Co-Director Ryan Sullivan said.
Performers include RuPaul Drag Race Star Brita Filter and Alyssa Edwards from RuPaul’s Drag Race and America’s Got Talent.
The Straz Center for Performing Arts will be hosting “Werk the Riverwalk” featuring local talent and Aloft will host a Diversity Boat Parade viewing party with music and drink specials.
The festivities will end with a fireworks show in Tampa Heights presented by Busch Gardens at 8:15 p.m.
“Everyone has their own story. Growing up, I had a lot of my own challenges and just want to make our community and our city (are) really welcoming for the diverse community we have here,” Sullivan said.
Volunteering and sponsorship details can be found on the Pride On the River website.