ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Pride flag is flying at St. Petersburg City Hall – though this year the global pandemic means the celebrations and the main parade won’t be happening.
“It was an emotional decision,” St. Pete Pride President Chrys Bundy told FOX 13. “But we never want to put anyone in harm’s way.”
St. Pete Pride is the largest pride celebration in the Southeast U.S. Last year, around a quarter-million people showed up and spent more than $67 million while visiting the city.
Brian Longstreth owns and is involved with businesses that cater to the LGBTQ community.
“When you have this big event that is kind of our showcase not happening -- it will definitely make a difference,” Longstreth said.
Not only are hotels and the bed and breakfast he runs not seeing guests for this year’s celebration -- they are also out money from tents, food and other bookings.
The Tampa Pride Parade that was supposed to happen March has been canceled this year, as well.
In St. Pete, Pride organizers are looking at options for virtual events and possibly in-person activities at the end of the year, if it’s safe.
They are still asking people to celebrate and embrace what makes them different – just safely at home.