Tampa nightclubs honor Orlando, tighten security

- The number of club-goers in Tampa Saturday night could have been considered typical, but there was a feeling of defiance not usual for the party scene. 

With the Pulse nightclub shooting one week behind, club owners and partiers seemed intent upon putting fear behind them, as well. 

Venues in Ybor have heightened security since the tragedy in Orlando, but extra security doesn't seem to be stopping people from living their lives.

“Because if we close we give into the fear," City Side owner James Encke explained. "We give into people telling us what we're going to do anymore."

City Side is off Henderson Blvd in Tampa and held a special event Saturday in honor of victims of the Orlando shooting.

“Tonight's event is called 'One Pulse,'” Encke said, adding the event is about living for who no longer can.

Local sponsor raffled prizes, and a donation bucket filled while everyone enjoyed Jello shots and a special performance from Anita Waistline, who won Ms. Pulse in 2015.

Yet the anxiety could not be hidden. Anita knew two of the victims. What happened to them was fresh in her mind earlier in the week when she performed at a fundraiser in Orlando.

“Everyone was affected by this. Not just me, not just my sisters... Our whole community is affected by this”  Anita said. "I was very happy to be there. I was very happy to perform, but I stood near an exit. I shouldn't have to stand near an exit in my house."

City Side is one of Tampa's many LGTB clubs and bars welcoming patrons, along with tight security.
Honey Pot posted on Facebook, assuring people safety is of utmost importance. Tampa police said they have also increased patrols in the wake of the Orlando attack.

Meanwhile, many club goers and performers said they felt the need to go out and be with their friends and family in the places where they always felt safe.

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