In this June 15, 2003, file photo, volunteers reach the Atlantic Ocean, as they finish carrying a 1.25-mile-long rainbow flag down Duval Street in Key West, Fla. The mammoth banner was created by Gilbert Baker and commemorated the 25th anniversary of the LGBT icon that Baker conceived in 1978. Baker, at age 65, was found deceased March 31, 2017, in New York City. (Photo by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/H0)

Diversity Takes Centre Stage at Key West Pride 6-10 June

The subtropical island of Key West will welcome visitors to its annual Pride celebrations from 6-10 June. Festivities showcase the diversity and equality that help make the southernmost city a top holiday destination for LGBT visitors from around the world.

Scheduled 2018 festival highlights include the 2018 Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic challenge, pageants to select Mr., Miss and Ms. Key West Pride, pool parties, late-night soirees and a parade featuring a segment of Key West’s iconic 1.25-mile-long rainbow flag.

During the cocktail challenge, regional winners from LGBT bars in 14 North American cities compete to create an original Key West cocktail that embodies the island’s creativity and free spirit. Now in its fifth year, the challenge is believed to be North America’s largest annual LGBT bartending competition and judges include Key West female impersonator Sushi. The finale takes place on 9 June on an open-air stage on Duval Street, the centre of nightlife in Old Town Key West, with the winner named honorary grand marshal of the 2018 Pride Parade.

The all-welcome Pride Parade is to feature a 100-foot section of Key West’s famed 1.25-mile-long sea-to-sea rainbow flag, created in 2003 by the late Gilbert Baker. Beginning at 5 p.m. on Sunday, 10 June, the parade will travel up Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. Afterward, participants and spectators can gather for a traditional Key West Tea Dance at the renowned La Te Da on Duval Street.

Travel to the Florida Keys for Key West Pride (0207 157 1570) has seven nights in the Florida Keys from £1,995 per person, including return direct flights from London Heathrow to Miami, five nights in Key West during Pride followed by two nights in the Upper Keys and car hire for the duration. The price is based on a 5 June 2018 departure for two adults travelling, sharing room only accommodation.

Event information and schedule: or
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Beth Higham

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