Normally, based onÂ history, my expectations for Tampa events are not high. For whatever reason, there is an underlying disinterest spending the necessary funds to maintain a standard of quality and polish you can expect in larger, more competitive markets.
However, having been invited to Pride & Passion this year as a guest of a sponsor, I had the opportunity to partake in what turned out to be quite a swank party, without paying for a ticket.
Next year, I will gladly purchase.
This year’s organizers chose a wedding theme, so faux couples were stationed throughout the Tampa Museum of Art. They represented varied forms of union, between man and woman, same-sex couples, and one who was dressed up top as man in tuxedo, and below the belt,Â in a lacy wedding dress.
Later on, they danced in sync to remixed traditional wedding tracks, blending with attendees.
A relatively spartan museum lobby and patio were supplanted with chic white lounge furniture and tables, giving party-goers the opportunity to sit and chat instead of stand all night long.
In a smart move, planners also streamlined the bar offerings – sticking to Tito’s vodka, red wine, champagne, and a themed blue mixed drink. I enjoyed several Tito’s & soda, my first in a long time since switching to mostly Guinness and malbec.
And, most importantly to the growing boys, the food was excellent. Timpano provided lettuce wraps, roast beef bruschetta, poached shrimp, tuna tartare, and roasted oysters. Dessert came from Piquant in the form of mini cronuts.
Actually, what really mattered to me, and that which always irks me, is how people were dressed. Along with not always putting the funds toward decor and experience, the ensembles can often disappoint.
Luckily, they didn’t. My party was an impeccable bunch, and most everyone else looked the part. Suits & jackets in May(!)â€”though the evening turned out to be a very comfortable 74 degrees.
All told, the experience made me decide that Pride & Passion isÂ the pinnacle event for Tampa’s youthful, urban, progressive elite. How thrilling!
Congratulations to the organizers for putting on such a great event. I am already looking forward to next year!
Special credit to two local photographers who make sure to cover every important event – Nicholas Cardello & Todd Montgomery. All photos in this post are attributed to them.
[…] I met the owners of Jux-ta-pose apparel & studio (hereby referred to as “Juxtapose” or “Juxt”) at the annual Pride & Passion party this past spring. Read a recap of that event here. […]