Miami’s Winter Party Festival 2012 - February 29 - March 5

By: Christopher Donaldson

Fear not the pale vigil of winter. For we still have dear Miami and its annual Winter Party Festival, the godmother of hot pants, dance floors and Speedos that can stay out late without feeling guilty.

With more than 20 events and 9 dance parties spanning a total of 6 days, the 2012 Festival (February 29 - March 5) will also offer much more than a promise of booze and sunshine for the nearly naked, including less salacious things like world-class shopping on Lincoln Road promenade and a jazz brunch where couples can actually hold a conversation.

But no self-respecting gay goes to Miami for food and shopping only. Insist on attending the “can’t-be-missed” Beach Party on Ocean Drive with DJ Joe Gauthreaux and the Under One Sun Pool Party and Boiling Point, a Sunday night dance-a-thon at Cameo nightclub with extra-special entertainment provided by Italy’s largest award-winning public event, Gay Village.

And no matter where you look, from South Beach to North Beach, the Festival’s real strengths reside in its fundraising (with the majority of net proceeds benefiting The Miami Foundation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force).

“Every event pass, every raffle ticket and every drink purchased throughout the week benefits our community on both the local and national level,” says Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of external relations at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “It’s not just the world’s best LGBT celebration, it’s also a party with a purpose--a very, very important purpose.”

For more information about Winter Party Festival 2012 and Festival passes (some available at additional discount through January 14), visit

Photos from past Festivals below.