By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
The abbreviation ‘SPI’ took on a new meaning this past weekend – Splash Pride Island – as thousands of LGBT couples, friends and families gathered to celebrate Splash weekend. The annual event is a grand fiesta of diversity and acceptance of the LGBT community. The festivities have grown over the years to become one of the most popular and busy events held on the Island.
There was a variety of entertainment and activities over the course of the Columbus Day weekend, ranging from elaborate stage productions featuring amazing impersonators and performers, to pool parties, DJ’s, dancing, and beach weddings. One of the more unique events this year was a midnight wedding ceremony on the Splash stage, which took place at the Pink and Purple Party at Louie’s Backyard.
In commemoration of the historic Supreme Court ruling earlier this year legalizing same-sex marriage, a public wedding ceremony was performed, with a licensed marriage officiant performing the service. One happy couple who exchanged vows were Melissa Garza and Frankie Quintanilla of San Antonio. The pair actually met at Splash 10 years ago.
Many Island businesses and hotels embraced the event, offering specials and promotions to Splash participants, such as special rental rates and restaurant discounts. Splash attendees took full advantage, enjoying the nightlife, shopping, dining and water sports all around the Island. Paul Magee of Global Groove Events, producers of Splash South Padre, commented on his Facebook page about Splash, calling it, “One of my favorite events of the year.” Appearing at many of this year’s events, he encouraged Splashers to wear pink and purple in support of breast cancer awareness and anti-bullying.
DJ Mandi York expressed her excitement about Splash, saying, “The rain did not stop anyone! Tequila Sunset was so much fun, and all the performers did an amazing job.” Aldo Olivares, visiting from Reynosa, Mexico with his Venezuelan boyfriend, summed up what Splash is all about. “It’s about freedom, being yourself, celebrating life and love and being proud of who you are. We just want to celebrate who we are and have fun with our friends.”
For information about the next Splash event, visit their website at www.splashsouthpadre.com.
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