Estimated 30,000 attend Palm Beach Pride festivities in Lake Worth Beach

Politicians among those in attendance to show support for LGBTQ+ community
Palm Beach Pride parade 'Proud Together' bus in downtown Lake Worth Beach, March 27, 2022
Posted at 10:59 AM, Mar 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 10:49:50-04

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — The full multi-color spectrum of the rainbow was on display loud and proud at Sunday's Palm Beach Pride parade, which hadn't happened since 2019.

Chopper 5 flew high above as the pride parade, hosted by the Compass LGBTQ Community Center, traveled to Bryant Park in Lake Worth Beach.

WPTV NewsChannel 5's Joel Lopez and I emceed the parade with our bedazzled WPTV microphones as participants of the parade started down Lake Avenue, led by Palm Tran's "Proud Together" bus.

The parade featured students representing students from Palm Beach County schools, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, cheerleaders, drag queens in cherry red Ford Mustang convertibles and a delegation from WPTV.

Politicians wanted to make sure the LGBTQ+ community knew they had their support. In attendance was tax collector Anne Gannon, State Attorney Dave Aronberg, Palm Beach County Commissioners Gregg K. Weiss (vice mayor) and Melissa McKinlay, and Ty Penserga, Boynton Beach's first openly gay mayor.

"We know what we have to do here in Palm Beach County. We have to say gay!" Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is running for governor, told festivalgoers as the LGBTQ+ cheered with approval.

Nikki Fried at Palm Beach Pride parade: 'We have to say gay'
"We know what we have to do here in Palm Beach County," Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is running for governor, says during an appearance at the Palm Beach Pride parade March 27, 2022, in Lake Worth Beach, Fla. "We have to say gay."

There was dancing, libations and remembrance of RaeJean Cox, a prominent community leader.

"We lost her this past fall to a terrible car accident, and they still miss her," sobbed Julie Seaver, who is the executive director for Compass. Cox's family from Indiana marched in the parade.

The festival's 30th anniversary had a wedding featuring 30 couples, including Seaver, who just never got around to tying the knot.

Palm Beach Pride organizers said it was their busiest Sunday ever with an estimated 30,000 people in attendance.

"It feels amazing to have Pride back," Deon Jefferson, of Delray Beach, said. "This is literally the best family event in Palm Beach County."