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Prime Timers of Tampa Bay

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I am Charles Harshbarger, president of Prime Timers of Tampa Bay. We only have, at present, about 100 members, but our influence is felt in the entire Tampa Bay Metro Area. St. Petersburg, a part of our area, is host to the largest Pride parade and celebration in the state of Florida. This is an extremely "gay friendly" city.
Perhaps it is because of the very large assembly of retired folks who come here. They are very tolerant of different lifestyles. For whatever reason, our Pride event drew a whopping 300,000 people this year. Last year, it was 250,000, so it is still growing.

Our chapter has been what I termed a "shadow chapter". We did not seek publicity, we "did our thing", largely ignored by the masses. It has been a successful strategy. However, with the legalization of same-sex marriage and the growth of our Pride parade, I felt as though it was time to do something to let folks know we exist.

Most of our members are older. It would be quite impossible for many of us to walk the parade route or even ride on a float.

One of our board suggested we rent the "Jolley Trolley". I investigated it and we were able to get an air conditioned trolley and had a great time tossing beads out the windows, as well. We had some posters with our name emblazoned on them for the sides of the vehicle, too. In addition, a few of our more athletic guys jumped on and off the trolley, passing out beads and giving out rainbow wristbands with our website on them.

We went through 100 dozen beads (and could have used another 100 dozen, easily!) and passed out 2,000 wrist bands.

Next year, we plan on having a presence in the day-long fair held the day following the parade.

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Last modified on Saturday, 22 April 2017 16:21


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