Every year Pensacola and Pensacola Beach play host to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) visitors for a truly unique Memorial Day Weekend bash. For some the weekend is one big circuit party, full of beaching and dancing. For others it’s more like a reunion and a chance to catch up with old friends. For everyone it’s a celebration of freedom.
The IN decided to get in on the action this year. Our first ever Memorial Day Weekend guide has a calendar of events complete with a helpful map, the low-down on how locals do it and coffee talk with a local drag legend. We also decided to do some digging and uncover the historical roots of the weekend and explore some of the urban legends we’ve heard over the years—like the infamous “gay money stamp.”
Speaking of gay money—we got into the numbers and explored the economic impact this weekend has for our local economy. We thought that was important—especially this summer since everybody is freaking out over losing the annual Blue Angel Air Show on the beach. You might be surprised by the numbers and how closely the Memorial Day festivities rival that event, even though it’s less documented and touted by local officials.
So whether you’re from out of town and looking for the best way to get from point A to point B or a local looking for a better understanding and appreciation of this economic boom we get every May, this issue has something for you. Enjoy!
Queer and Here: The Long History of Gay Tourists on Pensacola Beach
Legends, Myths and Questions Unanswered
Gay Money: The Uncertain Economics of Memorial Day Weekend on the Beach
The Economics of Acceptance
Ladies and Gentlemen—An Insider’s Look at Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day Weekend Event Lineup
Sightseeing You Can Write Home About
Travel Smart, Arrive Safe
Coffee Talk with Lauren Mitchell
Do It Like A Local