South Florida is the best place to dance on the beach at this time of the year, and next week, Winter Party Festival — which, on the gay SoFlo calendar, is like prom — will be the hottest place to be.

Don’t get it twisted.

Michael Bath: “Absolutely, a lot of folks are going to be in Speedos.”

Winter Party Festival is hot, not cold.

Michael Bath: “To the rest of the nation, who are freezing in March, it’s like, ‘Hey, look at us. we are dancing on the beach.'”

The annual, week-long celebration of music and fist-pumping to said music is back.

Michael Bath: “It shows in everything we do, from the work behind the scenes to the feeling on the dance floor — it’s just an event that’s all about love.”

Produced by the National LGBTQ Task Force, which raises critical funds for the queer community.

Alex Miranda: “Why is it important for LGBTQ+ people to gather together?”

Michael Bath: “We don’t have a lot of spaces in our day-to-day life where we can be 100% ourselves, so that’s what this does: it gives you that space.”

With big anniversaries for both.

Alex Miranda: “Thirty years of the Winter Party and 50 years of the Task Force. This is a huge year; this better be good.”

Michael Bath: “Yes, half a century. That’s incredible to think about, so this will be a celebration to remember.”

And check this out: Since 2005, they’ve given almost 90 local organizations a real leg up.

Michael Bath: “We have donated over $3.3 million to organizations that serve the queer community here in South Florida.”

Twelve events are split from Wednesday, March 1st to Sunday, the 7th — day and night.

Michael Bath: “It’s such fun from start to finish.”

Including Saturday’s Under One Sun, at Oasis Wynwood, staring at noon.

Michael Bath: “It is all about taking that musical journey with our fabulous DJs and enjoying being on the dance floor with your friends.”

And, the crown jewel: a beach party at Ocean Drive and 12th Street, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Michael Bath: “Our big centerpiece event is The Beach Party. There is something that happens around 4:30 when it’s at its peak, and you look out and see a sea of faces smiling. It’s just an energy that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.”

And yes, there will be a lot of Speedos, and few shirts, but…

Alex Miranda: “What are your recommendations for people who have never come to Winter Party before?”

Michael Bath: “Our tagline is ‘be you,’ so whatever makes you happy — dancing in whatever you want to dance in — that’s what you should wear.”

FOR MORE INFO:
Winter Party Festival
March 1-7
winterparty.com

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