December 1 is the day World AIDS Day is observed around the world. Right here in Florida, there are many events going on which raise awareness for this global killer. On this day, we reflect on the friends and family we’ve lost to AIDS, and we look forward to the day we find a cure. Each city recognizes World AIDS Day in different ways.
Here are some local events that you should attend. These events are all being held on Monday, December 1, unless otherwise specified.
Last year we profiled the World AIDS Day Miami Bike Ride, and it was a success. The Bike Ride returns for another year on Sunday, November 30, and will last for 20 miles, starting at Bayside Marketplace (401 N. Biscayne Blvd.) and ending at the HistoryMiami Community Gallery (101 W. Flagler Street) where the bike riders will view the Faces of HIV Project. The morning starts with a dedication at Bayside Marketplace at 9 a.m., followed by the ride at 9:30. For more information, call (786) 563-3121.
Miami Dade College launches the first-ever “MDC > AIDS” day, with events such as lectures with guest speakers, testing and counseling, and information fairs. Events start at 8 a.m. on World AIDS Day across nine MDC campuses, including the Wolfson Campus, the Kendall Campus, the Homestead Campus and the Hialeah Campus.
The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center will be celebrating its grand opening with a gala at the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW 5th Ave.) on Tuesday, December 2. This celebration will feature a performance from the South Florida Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are priced starting at $40, visit browardcenter.org to purchase them in advance.
Broward House, in partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, SunServe, Latinos Salud, The Campbell Foundation and the Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center, presents the World AIDS Day Vigil on Sunday, November 30. A gathering will begin at 7 p.m. with a step-off at 7:30 from Hagen Park (2020 Wilton Dr.) to The Pride Center (2040 N. Dixie Hwy.) Mayor Gary Resnick will make a speech and the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display. For more information, visit browardhouse.org.
Compass (201 N. Dixie Hwy.) will be hosting a dedication on December 1, featuring the AIDS Memorial Quilt, a dedication to loved ones who have passed, a candlelight vigil, and a special performance by the Voices of Pride. Compass’s AIDS Quilt showing is the largest of its kind in the state of Florida. For more information, visit compassglcc.com.
The Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University (3601 N. Military Trl.) is commemorating World AIDS Day by organizing and presenting a showcase called “Be Aware!” It features free HIV testing courtesy of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the first-ever unveiling of Lynn University’s AIDS Memorial Quilt, a fundraiser, and a one-man show featuring Devin T. Robinson, poet and motivational speaker, who has been featured in HIV PLUS Magazine. This event starts at 5:30 p.m. on World AIDS Day. If you have questions, please call Jennifer Bridie at (561) 237-7231.
Parliament House (410 N. Orange Blossom Trl.) and the Hope and Help Center, in conjunction with Team MAC Cosmetics Orlando, presents Winter White, Black as Night, a gala in honor of World AIDS Day. The gala starts at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 30, and a $10 donation includes entrance and hors d’oeuvres. There will also be a silent auction and a 10 p.m. show featuring the Footlight Players.
The Center Orlando, in association with Gilead and Target, present the World AIDS Day Candlelight Walk and Rally on Sunday, November 30. People will meet at The Center (946 N. Mills Ave.) at 6:30 p.m. for the walk and there will be a rally at 7:15. The grand marshal of the walk will be Jorge Estevez from WFTV-TV ABC 9. Community partners for this event inclide Miracle of Love, the Zebra Coalition and the Hope and Help Center.
The Lake County Health Department is presenting the fifth annual World AIDS Day Celebration of Life from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, December 1 at Ferran Park in Eustis. There will be rapid HIV testing, free hepatitis shots, a viewing of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and at least two dozen vendors. The theme for this event is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation.” For more information on this event, call (352) 589-6424.
St. Petersburg is “rocking it RED!” this World AIDS Day. A mile-long red ribbon will be installed on Central Avenue between 16th and 31st Streets on Saturday, November 29. On Sunday, November 30, the public will be able to see and sign one of fifty trees wrapped in red ribbons along the Avenue (there are 170 in total). Those signed trees will later be made into the St. Petersburg Wall of Remembrance and Hope. The installation will be up through Monday, December 1, when Metro Wellness and Community Centers’ LGBT Welcome Center (2227 Central Ave.) will hold a candlelight vigil, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Be sure to check for more events relating to World AIDS Day on our events calendar.