Come OUT St. Pete brings daytime parade to Grand Central

The local LGBTQ+ organization gives the community what they want.

Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) announces a new LGBTQ+ parade and more for its second year of activities. What started as a committee of the Grand Central District Association in 2017 has now become a Florida Non-Profit Corporation and has applied for the 501(c)(3) IRS designation.

Come OUT St. Pete’s mission is to inspire the LGBTQ+ community to live genuinely, raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and encourage public support from LGBTQ+ allies. Equality is at the forefront of all COSP initiatives and events, specifically with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity.

This year’s festivities will include a parade in the Grand Central District on Saturday, October 6 from 10 a.m. to noon. The parade will begin at approximately 20th Street and head west on Central Avenue. A custom rainbow flag, one city block in length, will be unfurled along the route. “The St. Pete LGBTQ+ Community passionately shows an abundance of PRIDE year-round. They’ve expressed their desire to have a daytime parade during a cooler month on Central Avenue. This provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate National Coming OUT Day in October. We’re so grateful for our community’s support and sponsorship which makes it possible for us to do this for them,” states COSP Board Co-Chair Jimmy Biascan.

The parade will be followed by the Grand Central Proud Market — on Central Avenue between 22nd and 31st Streets — where local small businesses, artists and makers will be selling their goods and services. Many of the businesses in the district will be providing live entertainment and special performances during and after the market. Parade entries and vendor pricing start at just $25 to ensure that local, small businesses can participate. Visit comeoutstpete.org to register.

On Saturday, September 8, the winning artist will be chosen and COSP’s 2018 commemorative art will be revealed. Other COSP happenings will include a beach party, fashion show, youth events, a trivia pub crawl and the foodie favorite, Taste of Grand Central. Sponsorships range from $500 to $25,000 and the deadline for sponsors to be included on all relevant marketing collateral is Saturday, September 1. Volunteers are welcome to sign up on the website, as well.

COSP Board Co-Chair Mandy Keys says, “We’re so excited to come together as a community to celebrate our pride during this great new festival in October!” Visit comeoutstpete.org for more information about Come OUT St. Pete, its mission and its Board members.

Check out the sponsorship opportunities below:

Written by Robin Gow

Robin Gow is an English Major at Ursinus College with minors in Creative Writing and Spanish. He’s an out bisexual trans man and also works as his campus LGBT+ resource coordinator. In his spare time he also runs his own poetry blog.

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