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Miami to light up in rainbow colors for Gay Pride weekend

The Miami skyline will shine like a rainbow when iconic buildings light up in all colors of the spectrum during Miami Beach Gay Pride, running April 7 through 9.

Named Pride Lights the Night, the initiative is a tribute to the memory of the 49 people who died in June in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

The Miami Tower, Freedom Tower, AmericanAirlines Arena, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, New World Center, Perez Art Museum and Miami Children’s Museum are some of more than 30 buildings participating with light displays from Thursday through Sunday evening.

Nine other buildings, including Jackson Memorial Hospital, will participate by flying a rainbow flag.

“We hope to make this a yearly tradition over the Pride weekend,” said Dave Cook, executive director of Miami Beach Gay Pride, which is in its ninth year. “We decided to reach out to business locations, buildings, and ask if they would light up their buildings for Pride weekend. The overwhelming majority of businesses said yes.”

Pride Lights the Night is one of dozens of events planned in Miami Beach this weekend. At Lummus Park, for example, there will be a women’s Garden of Eve beer tent with music and activities at Lummus Park on Saturday and Sunday, and a beach party featuring live music and vendors on Sunday.

It all culminates at noon Sunday with the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade marching down Ocean Drive followed by a block party with live music, arts and crafts, food vendors, and a family fun zone. The parade and block party are free.

“It’s a day people can come to the beach and just enjoy who they are. For some people, this is the only time they can do that in the year,” Cook said.

This year’s parade, for the first time, will have three marshal titles.

Celebrity grand marshal: TV host Ross Mathews

Advocate marshal: Radio personality “Uncle” Johnny Pool from the “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show”

Ally marshals: LGBTQ rights activists Liebe and Seth Gadinsky

“We’ve grown to the point that we thought we should honor our heroes in our community,” Cook said. “Just come out and celebrate who you are: gay, straight, bisexual, transgender. You don’t have to be gay to have a great time on the sands of Ocean Drive.”

Miami Beach Gay Pride will take place April 7-9 throughout Miami Beach. The parade and street festival are set for noon-10 p.m. April 9 on Ocean Drive and Lummus Park. Admission to the parade and block party is free. For more information on events, call 305-496-7635 or go to MiamiBeachGayPride.com.

bduarte@sunsentinel.com, @babicorb

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