Walking along that narrow path of the beach the people you encounter are the real attractions. Many of the younger, leaner, buffer guys are in Speedos – many brightly colored – and some with attendant feather boas and exaggeratedly big sunglasses. Some of the girls are in skimpy two-pieces. The creativity of some tattoos is really on display when folks are wearing so little.
You may also encounter a drag queen or two out there. What does a drag queen wear to the beach? Something fabulous, of course!
Like at Mardi Gras, it’s not uncommon for people to stop the more flamboyant on the beach and ask to have their photos taken with them. And, like at Mardi Gras, most of the ones who are done up are happy to oblige. They work hard to make themselves look so over-the-top.
Over the years, businesses on Pensacola Beach as well as the mainland have opened their doors in welcome to the LGBT visitors and locals alike, sporting rainbow adornment as well as specials harkening to us for that weekend.
Although it varies every year, Memorial Day weekend usually features huge soirees called “circuit parties” or even raves aimed at the LGBT crowd. These often include nationally known entertainers as well as hard thumping music and flashing lights. These can go on until the early morning or even sunrise the next day.
Pensacola’s two LGBT nightclubs – the Roundup and Cabaret – always have special events and entertainment that weekend, as do many of the mainstream establishments. In recent years, Capt’n Fun Beach Club and Flounder’s Chowder House on Pensacola Beach have served as hubs of much of the Memorial Day weekend fun.
As a local, I often wonder how the LGBT visitors who try to take in all the festivities find time to sleep!
In the two decades, I have called Northwest Florida home, I have played host to friends from Alabama as well as Central Florida who came here to see what our Memorial Day weekend celebrations were all about.
Neither myself nor any of my guests, however, have ever been brave enough to wear a Speedo.
Official Rules for the Weekends
I wouldn't be doing my local due diligence if I didn't pass along official information for the weekend. Read below for official rules and remember to leave only your footprints!