Wilton Drive, the heartbeat of South Florida’s LGBT community, will be alive this weekend as “Shop & Play Wilton” takes place, offering patrons and customers a Saturday Sidewalk Sale amidst five days of great deals and discounts on everything from food and clothing to professional services and alcohol.

Many businesses have announced extended hours. Parking is free until 8 p.m. on Saturday, thanks to the City of Wilton Manors. (City lots offer free parking daily until 6 p.m.)

The “Shop & Play Wilton” initiative is a collaborative effort by Hotspots Media, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (GFLGLCC), and Wilton Manors Business Association (WMBA), aimed at helping the LGBT businesses adversely impacted by a slow summer and Hurricane Irma.

“We are urging South Florida’s gay community to come out and enjoy the festivities — and the deals — being offered by the bars, stores, restaurants and all the other businesses who help to make Wilton Drive the unique place that it is,” said Tim Moffitt, president of the WMBA. “They need our support and this is a great opportunity for us to come together in the spirit of community and solidarity,” he continued.

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During the five-day event, there will be a special Happy Hour each afternoon at 5:30 at a different establishment (visit ShopPlayWilton.com for schedule). Patrons will be encouraged to stay on the Drive to enjoy great deals on dinner, shopping, cocktails and more. The main event will be a Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, Oct. 28.

“We’re thrilled to partner with other businesses and organizations along Wilton Drive to help encourage our community to come out and support this thriving area,” said Chris Rudisill, Executive Director of Stonewall National Museum & Archives. “Local businesses and organizations need your business now more than ever. Our museum space on the Drive provides us the opportunity to share LGBTQ history and culture with generations of people, and Shop & Play Wilton celebrates our community’s strength and commitment to support each other.”

Stonewall Gallery on Wilton Drive will be offering free T-shirts (while supplies last) and 30% off memberships in recognition of Shop & Play Wilton.

The community initiative, conceptualized by Hotspots Media Vice President Peter Jackson, came to life after he took the idea to Publisher Peter Clark, then to Tim Moffitt and Keith Blackburn, presidents of the WMBA and GFLGLCC, respectively. City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson soon supported the program.

Clark presented the idea to Mayor Gary Resnick and the Wilton Manors City Council who embraced the idea and agreed to extended free parking at city lots on Saturday until 8 p.m.

Shop & Play Wilton continues through Oct. 30. Visit ShopPlayWilton to get the latest updates.