Vallarta Pride 2016, the fourth consecutive LGBT Pride in Puerto Vallarta, was organized by ACT LGBT A.C., formed by a group of business owners including Laura Gelezunas of Media Diva International, Tim Wilson of GayPV, Daniel Gomez of Mijo! Brands, Oscar Moran of RHOM Design, and Bill Hevener of BuenFlex Clothing. This year’s theme, “We Are One Family,” drew crowds of local and international guests and participants to the zesty hot spot, nestled between the lush Sierra Madre and the majestic Pacific Ocean. Grand Marshals Myriam Montemayor (the first winner of “The Academy”) and model/YouTube personality Idan Matalon joined filmmaker Shari Frilot in ringing in the fun.
Pride in Puerto Vallarta was especially special this year, same-sex marriage was approved in the state of Jalisco on January 27. “Puerto Vallarta has organically grown to be a leading LGBT destination because of the destination’s natural beauty, our local’s ability to embrace people from all walks of life and world-class infrastructure,” said Agustin Alvarez, Director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. “As Pride season is upon us, the city’s ability to provide marriages licenses to same-sex couples, is especially historic for our country and we know will be another reason to celebrate and experience Puerto Vallarta.”
Mantamar Beach Club was the epicenter of this year’s Pride featuring the Wednesday night fashion show, t-dance, LAMBDA Art & Expo, and closing party in addition to a variety of pool parties and unique events throughout the celebration.
We bounced around town, walked in the parade, pool parties, and caught a glimpse of the annual drag derby – a unique competition where local drag queens compete in an outrageous obstacle course down a flight of stairs and through the crowd at the Pulpito and Olas Altas in heels.
The Wednesday night fashion show allowed a variety of local fashion designers to interpret and take liberties with the “one family” theme while dressing a lineup of models in unique creations. Almar Resort rolled out the red carpet for many of the notable and VIP guests in attendance at this year’s pride while The CasaManga Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa proved to cater and provide an extraordinary oasis for many to rejuvenate and recharge from excitement downtown. After the pride festivities groups of friends and couples headed up the shore to Riviera Nayaritt to Sayulita, Bucerias, Nuevo Vallarta, Punta de Mita, and San Francisco beach for more sunshine, sandy beaches, and relaxation.