WILTON MANORS, Fla. – Wilton Manors will mark Pride Month this weekend with their annual Stonewall Pride Festival, one year after a deadly crash marred the occasion in 2021.
Security will be tight after scares at pride events across the country, including in South Florida.
In light of the recent mass shootings across the country and the documented credible threats of violence against Pride events, from Idaho to West Palm Beach earlier this month, Wilton Manors City Commissioner Chris Caputo told Local 10 News the security bill at his city’s pride festival planned for Saturday is going way up from roughly $50,000 to a whopping $92,000 this year.
Caputo said it’s not just the required number of officers, hours and equipment.
He says adding insult to injury, Broward County, which usually provides around $25,000 in security resources for the event, decided it can’t afford it this year.
“They have their own budget concerns and so they pulled back and said hey you’ll have to pay for this yourself and so that right there was a third of the total cost,” said Caputo.
Caputo said city officials and event organizers have scrambled looking for ways to foot the bill because the cost of not having pride is even greater.
“We lose when we don’t show up,” he said. “Now more than ever we need events like this, and the truth is come this Saturday, there’s going to be no place that is safer or more fabulous than Wilton Manors.”
Caputo expressed gratitude to Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, who is stepping up to help cover some of the cost, and to other county officials and neighbors who are coming forward with sponsorships and donations to help out as well.