PRIDE ON THE BLOCK

Published on May 28th, 2022

“Clematis” is often the first word you hear from regular bar- and restaurant-goers in West Palm Beach. Locals and seasonal visitors alike know the downtown nightlife district anchored by Clematis Street quite well. But different people experienced it differently as it evolved, and there are numerous Clematis stories.

Slothrust

Donna Weinberger, CEO of Inspire Recovery, an LGBTQIA+ addiction rehabilitation service in West Palm Beach, moved here from the Northeast in the late 1990s. She gravitated to an alternative scene anchored by the likes of WormHole and Kashmir — since long gone — and Lost Weekend and Respectable Street Cafe. Over time, Lost Weekend changed addresses, joining the nightlife row in the 500 block of Clematis and adding a upstairs venue, Voltaire. Respectable Street dropped “Cafe,” and didn’t really mind you just calling the place “Respectable’s.”

Through all the changes — many overseen by Subculture Group, the West Palm nightlife and entertainment firm — the venues maintained themselves as a welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ people.

Inspired by the solace she found in the scene, Weinberger helped launch Pride on the Block, a Clematis street fair with crafts, vendors, games and a festive, inclusive vibe. The third annual edition takes place 1 p.m.-12 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, followed by Pride’s first-ever afterparty — hosted by SWEAT!, a queer NYC-based dance party.

Moon Kissed

There will be both dancing and bands at Respectable’s. Boston rockers Slothrust will deliver spiritual fervor and experimental indie-punk beats. Up next, Moon Kissed, from New York City, will provide Saturday-night sound infused with the electric atmosphere of the band’s origin story — a serendipitous encounter at a New Year’s Eve party.

Three iconic New York City gay bars — The Stonewall Inn, Cubbyhole and Ginger’s Bar – will join SWEAT! in backing Pride on the Block with donations to Transpire Help, a resource organization helping LGBTQIA+ individuals to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Pride on the Block runs 1pm-12am Saturday June 4 along the 500 block of Clematis Street. The SWEAT! dance afterparty featuring Slothrust (10pm) and Moon Kissed (11:30pm) is 9pm-4am at Respectable Street.

prideontheblock.com ~ Amanda Moore

 

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