It’s no secret that Pensacola’s beaches draw huge crowds, and have done so for decades. Throughout the year, for one occasion or another, visitors come to enjoy the sugar white sands and blue Gulf waters.
One of those occasions is Memorial Day weekend. For over three decades, the May holiday in Pensacola is best known as a destination for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) visitors. Over the three day weekend each year, LGBT vacationers, locals, and allies meet up for a multi-day beach party, a tradition that began (the earliest tales tell) as a small Fourth of July party in the mid-1960s, and has continued on in one form or another since then.
Last year, the IN delved into the history and economics behind the Memorial Day gathering, which draws tens of thousands of people to the area. This year, we are continuing on with our new tradition of Memorial Day coverage by delving into what’s going on at the beach and in town this weekend, and keeping tabs on the positive changes over the last year that are serving to bring equality and broader acceptance for LGBT persons in our area year round, and always.
Though some still prefer to turn a blind eye to the LGBT Memorial Day weekend gathering and its social and economic benefits for Pensacola (the last and only study of the LGBT Memorial Day weekend’s economic impact was conducted in 1994), the coverage of the weekend in general has become increasingly positive over the years. The IN is proud to be part of and a supporter of this turning tide and we hope everybody has a safe and happy weekend. We’ll see you on the beach!