Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend on Pensacola Beach! It has become a tradition for gay men and women to gather on the east end of the beach for some fun in the sun. I've heard about the event and I've read about it, but this time I decided to walk down to Park East and check it out myself.

Hey, wait a minute, that's Betty Boop with Toto! Where's Dorothy?

I had no idea how huge the event is/was/has become. Rows of tents three or four deep paralleled the water for more than a mile. It was a beautiful day and the surf was high. Luckily the presence of jellyfish kept most of the people out of the Gulf and safe from riptides.

I've never seen so many umbrellas and tents! They're packed tight as sardines!

People and set-ups finally thinned out about a quarter of a mile past Park East, but that was at 10:00 a.m. this morning. From the look of traffic later in the day, there were several thousand people on this end of the beach.

Camp Flamingo! What a hoot! I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the creative and elaborate set-ups.

This person has more grass than I do!

I can't believe how much time it must take to bring all the stuff in and then get it set up. Whew! I love this white and green-striped tent.

After walking about three miles with no water, skinny dipping isn't sounding like such a bad idea.

The Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church has a large tent set up for services, provides musical entertainment on Saturday and Sunday, and provides water. They also have several collection areas set up for recycling cans. Bravo!

Betty Ford Clinic class reunion? They're pulling my leg, right?

I'm sensing a theme. There are flamingos everywhere and at this spot they were all wearing wigs!

See! I told ya!

A little gnome away from home,
to Pensacola Beach he roamed.

If I didn't live on the east side and see the incredible amount of traffic, I never would have realized so many people were here. Everyone was friendly and happy, enjoying the amazing surf and watching dolphins put on a show. And, very importantly, the beach was being treated with respect as people picked up after themselves.

Everyone have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and please don't forget the true meaning of the holiday.


overactive-imagination said...

I was just curious if you had caught today's front page and the chat that ensued and how you fel about it.

I love the pics you take. I don't even have to go out there to see the sights. I can just tune into your bog. Thanks

Barrier Island Girl said...

Hey, Overactive-Imagination,

Do you mean the PNJ and reader comments on articles? If so, no, I wouldn't have checked out either article chats or forums.

I discovered a few years ago that in the aftermath of hurricanes, people on the forums were wonderful, kind, and anxious to be supportive of each other. As time progressed and life settled into routine, more negative and mean-spirited comments appeared behind the safety of anonymous screen names. I found it very sad and now avoid the forums or comments.

Instead of commenting on our gay visitors during Memorial Day weekend, I decided to check it out for myself this year and share the experience with my blog viewers via my photos. It was a hoot!

Folks were friendly and appeared very happy to be here. The beach was in great condition, so that certainly made me happy. As long as people show respect to me and/or the paradise I call home, I will show them respect.

I'm glad you enjoy my photos. Thank you so much for your visits to my blog. I love living here and I enjoy sharing the experience with my blog viewers.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures. Thanks for getting out there and sharing them with us. I have never seen such effort and creativity on the beach before. Very cool.

Anonymous said...

Hi DJ,

Let's get our own Cabana next year and show what the locals can do!!!

Happy Memorial Day

Scottie and The Dougal

Barrier Island Girl said...

Hey Scottie,

They may welcome me for a visit, but they'd probably throw me out for a lack of creativity if I tried to put up a tent. Ha! You should check it out next year and you'll see what I mean.

It was really fun to meander around and see some of the amazing decorations. Those wigged flamingos were the funniest things ever!

As I said, everyone was very nice. The only bad thing was the traffic. Hiking from my house to Park East and back was at least four miles, maybe five if you add in all the wandering around (hard on my knee).

See ya (and Doogie) soon.


overactive-imagination said...

I agree that the tone of the PNJ articles have certainly changed for the negative since Ivan.
I only go to read on ocassion when something shows up on Yahoo that peaks my interest. I don't know that I've ever commented.
I agree that it looks like a great time and as long as things are left as they were found, I see no problem with their fun. Of course some of our own tend the leave the beach with more than their footprints behind.
Thanks again for the great pics. I've often been curious about the Memorial Day celebrations at Pensacola beach, maybe next year I'll ride out and we'll enjoy the sites together.
Thanks again for the pics.