In April 2009, Mayor Matti Bower hosted the city's first-ever gay and lesbian parade. It was a landmark moment for the city, as Miami had been a mecca for LGBT people in the 1980s and 1990s, but had never had an officially sanctioned event to celebrate its vibrant gay and lesbian culture. The event included a parade through South Beach and culminated with a beach party attended by locals and tourists.
Over time, the Miami Beach Pride Festival has grown significantly in attendance as more and more people have learned about it through word of mouth, media coverage and social media events. From 2014 to 2018, as attendance reached record highs, many celebrities joined the event, such as Chaz Bono, Adam Lambert, Gloria Estefan, Mario Lopez and Elvis Duran as Rainbow Ambassadors. In addition, more businesses participated by offering opportunities for sponsorship.
Despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the Miami Beach LGBT Parade continues to grow each year - expanding its reach in South Florida and beyond. 2019, it drew some 150,000 visitors from around the world to participate in a variety of activities, such as art exhibits and panel discussions, during the week-long celebration. It also featured performances by a number of well-known artists, including Daya and Big Freedia.
Miami's South Beach is a gay and lesbian area with a gay and lesbian visitor center. Miami itself is a city that Americans like to visit because of its exotic atmosphere, which is different from other American cities, and for Americans, coming to Miami feels like going abroad. This is why there are many international party events in Miami.
Miami Beach Pride Festival is a must-attend event with DJs on the beach during the day, while Urge is the largest local gay party in Miami and hosts nightly parties during the parade.