Emmy Award winning host of the popular nationally syndicated entertainment program Extra, Mario Lopez will preside over the 2015 Miami Beach Gay Pride parade and festival as Grand Marshal, announced Mark Fernandes, chair of the Pride Board.
As Grand Marshal, Lopez will lead the enthusiastic and colorful parade that is expected to draw more than 100,000 spectators on Sunday, April 12. The Miami Beach Gay Pride parade kicks off at noon along famed Ocean Drive between 5th and 15th Streets and will be followed by the Pride Festival with live performances from four stages, community booths and refreshments.
An ardent proponent of LGBTQ issues, Lopez is a long-time supporter of GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). His association with the organization includes participation in the GLAAD “Amplify Your Voice” anti-gay bullying PSA campaign, which ran in conjunction with Spirit Day, a national day set aside to remember gay teens who have been bullied. The “Amplify Your Voice” anti-bullying campaign was produced in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, GLSEN, the National Center for Transgender Equality and The Trevor Project. Lopez has also been a special guest and a presenter at several GLAAD Media Awards events.
“We are extremely excited about bringing Mario to Miami Beach for our seventh annual Pride,” said Fernandes. “His personal charisma coupled with his universal appeal as a multi-faceted entertainer will delight Pride’s guests and help make this year’s event the biggest and best ever.”
Lopez may be one of the hardest working men in Hollywood. In addition to hosting Extra, which airs locally on NBC 6 South Florida, Monday through Friday at 7 p.m., he is the host of the nationally syndicated iHeartMedia radio shows On with Mario Lopez and iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez. Both NBC6 and iHeartRadio are media sponsors for Miami Beach Gay Pride this year.
Since its inception in 2009, Miami Beach Gay Pride has grown from a neighborhood event to an event on the global stage with A-list celebrities such as Adam Lambert performing in 2013 and Gloria Estefan serving as Grand Marshal in 2014. Attendance has grown as well. An estimated 15,000 spectators turned out for the first Pride parade in 2009; an estimated 100,000 attended the two-day event in 2014, which attracted not only South Floridians, but also visitors from throughout the world. In addition to Parade spectators, the April 2014 event included more than 100 parade contingencies, 35 floats and 2,000 participants.
The Pride Festival which followed featured 145 LGBTQ-friendly vendors and businesses, plus refreshments, two stages of entertainment, a family-friendly play area and fireworks. Recently, Miami Beach Gay Pride was named one of the “Top 100 Events of the Year” for 2014 by BizBash Magazine and earned the Pink Flamingo Award for “Favorite Multi-Day Event” for the second year in a row.
The mission of Miami Beach Gay Pride is to bring together members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, their friends, allies, and supporters in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of the LGBTQ community. Miami Beach Gay Pride organizes free, safe, quality, mass-appeal events that are open to all, including the annual parade and festival, which features community booths and expo areas, stages with entertainment, food and drink vendors and family-safe play areas. Additionally, Miami Beach Gay Pride produces educational, cultural and entertainment events throughout the year and sanctions official Pride-related activities in order to create a truly celebratory experience for the whole community.
For 2015, Miami Beach Gay Pride will become a full, two-day festival, April 11 – 12, and will include a Saturday beach party, women’s events and a community stage for South Florida artists to perform. Miami Beach Gay Pride is produced with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority. For more information visit www.miamibeachgaypride.com.