Five Simple Suggestions For Surviving Miami Beach Gay Pride

It is once again time for Miami Beach Gay Pride, a week-long festival of the fabulous, featuring beach parties, drag shows, block parties, bachelor auctions, beauty pageants, and dance parties all leading up to the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, April 13.

Some big names are involved this year, from the parade's Grand Marshal Gloria Estefan, to venues like the W Hotel South Beach, hipster hangout the Vagabond, and the iconic Twist nightclub. Whether you're anxiously anticipating Entourage, the women's pride event at Score on Friday, April 11; or saving yourself for the Miami Beach Gay Pride Beach Party, Saturday, April 12, and the Pride Parade Sunday, there are several things to keep in mind.

Here are a five tips for making the most of the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade and Festival, and more importantly, for making it out alive.

See also: Elaine Lancaster Dishes on Miami Beach Gay Pride 2014

5. Wet-n-Wild

Whether your shaking your rump at Twist or having fun in the sun at Lummus Park, make sure to liquidate more than your assets. Drink plenty of H2O to offset both the heat and the alcohol you're likely to imbibe. If you don't, it's likely you'll hurl on a hottie or wake up to a wicked hangover -- and neither instance makes for good Facebook fodder.

4. Dolla Dolla Bills, Y'all

We know you're not going to a strip club, and in no way do we mean to imply that the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade and Festival promotes that type of nonsense, but cash does come in really handy during Pride. While it's not exactly unusual to come across a bikini-clad gentleman (or twelve) who enjoys the feel of George Washington sliding beneath his banana hammock, more importantly, there may be vendors who only accept cash. When your body is practically screaming at you to hydrate (see Wet-n-Wild above), you''ll want to avoid the extra cost and long lines at the ATMs and go straight to gulping down some agua. If you have any money left over, donate it to one of the many SAVE Dade volunteers or a charity of your choice -- remember, freedom isn't free in Florida.

3. Keep Calm and Carry-On Luggage

Due to the fact most of the events take place on South Beach, you should have a travel bag in your trunk -- unless of course, you live on South Beach, and in that case, bully for you. If you happen to drink too much, meet someone interesting, or just want to continue partying, it never hurts to have an extra set of clothes, a bathing suit, and your toothbrush with you. Do like a Boy Scout and "be prepared."

2. Explore the Events

You may mark the Beach Party and the Parade on your calendar every year, but have you attended the Festival's other events? The Festival features all kinds of shindigs, from a fanciful drag beauty pageant to sophisticated mixers. Whether you're out to meet or out for meat, support the community by exploring the diverse schedule of events. Celebrate your pride all week instead of limiting yourself to the grand finale.

1. Play It Safe

Ideally, you and your pals will drink and dance to your prideful hearts' content, but don't overdo it. With the incredible strides the LGBT community made since last year's Pride Festival, it may feel like you need to celebrate more than usual (if that's even possible), but seriously -- designate a driver. Let someone know where you are, call a cab, and make use of the plethora of free condoms (if you should be so lucky). To put it simply, party, but party responsibly.

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