Memorial Day weekend on Pensacola Beach! It has become a tradition for gay men and women to gather on the east end of the beach for some fun in the sun. I've heard about the event and I've read about it, but this time I decided to walk down to Park East and check it out myself.
Hey, wait a minute, that's Betty Boop with Toto! Where's Dorothy?
I had no idea how huge the event is/was/has become. Rows of tents three or four deep paralleled the water for more than a mile. It was a beautiful day and the surf was high. Luckily the presence of jellyfish kept most of the people out of the Gulf and safe from riptides.
I've never seen so many umbrellas and tents! They're packed tight as sardines!
People and set-ups finally thinned out about a quarter of a mile past Park East, but that was at 10:00 a.m. this morning. From the look of traffic later in the day, there were several thousand people on this end of the beach.
Camp Flamingo! What a hoot! I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the creative and elaborate set-ups.
This person has more grass than I do!
I can't believe how much time it must take to bring all the stuff in and then get it set up. Whew! I love this white and green-striped tent.
After walking about three miles with no water, skinny dipping isn't sounding like such a bad idea.
The Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church has a large tent set up for services, provides musical entertainment on Saturday and Sunday, and provides water. They also have several collection areas set up for recycling cans. Bravo!
Betty Ford Clinic class reunion? They're pulling my leg, right?
I'm sensing a theme. There are flamingos everywhere and at this spot they were all wearing wigs!
See! I told ya!
A little gnome away from home,
to Pensacola Beach he roamed.
If I didn't live on the east side and see the incredible amount of traffic, I never would have realized so many people were here. Everyone was friendly and happy, enjoying the amazing surf and watching dolphins put on a show. And, very importantly, the beach was being treated with respect as people picked up after themselves.
Everyone have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and please don't forget the true meaning of the holiday.