Before Miami Beach Gay Pride takes over Ocean Drive in April, the 12th Annual Winter Party Festival rolls into town for three days of dancing under the sun (held March 2–4, 2012). Consider it an amped-up amuse-bouche for the celebratory fundraising season; the events benefit local Miami–Dade LGBT organizations, as well as the lawyerly set at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Some $1.2 million has been raised since 2004.
And while the event has always reeled in an international crowd, especially our brothers and sisters to the south (Friday's Brazilian Heaven & Hell pool party is a major highlight), this year lays it on Latin-style with a party organized by Rome's Gay Village. Italy's biggest gay event, still running high off its multi-week, award-winning appearance at last year's EuroPride, is a hugely popular summer to-do in Rome, drawing 300,000 guests from around the globe to its 10-week-long schedule of events and parties – plus open-air gym and outdoor cinema – staged throughout a 16-acre park. In Miami, that energy transforms into Boiling Point: Rome is Burning, on Sunday, March 4.
Victor Diaz-Herman, co-chair of the Winter Party Festival, promises it to be one thing: epic. "Sunday night was huge for Winter Party in 2011, and we’re really going to outdo ourselves this year . . . thanks in large part to our partnership with Gay Village and the sights and sounds they’ll be importing to Miami Beach for this experience.”
That means DJ Alyson Calagna and Gay Village resident DJ Giangi Cappaifor on the decks and imported Italian dancers in gladiator garb to get the party in gear. Plus, plenty of electric visual spectacle to complement the beats on Cameo Nightclubs' famous sound system. Tickets cost $65 in advance, $85 the day of the event.
Purchase a multi-event pass package for the best value. Depending on the level – Titanium, Platinum, Gold, or Climax – additional parties and VIP amenities are included, like a kick-off at Score club on March 1, the signature event with DJ Joe Gauthreaux, or two pool parties at the newly remodeled Surfcomber host hotel. Visit www.winterparty.com for tickets, passes, and more info.