Lesbians from all corners of the country ventured to the inaugural Girls in Wonderland beach party this past weekend to celebrate love and equality in a true Floridian paradise.
For anyone who’s celebrated Girls in Wonderland (GIW) before, the iconic festival made its debut on the stunning beaches of St. Petersburg, Florida, after upholding a nearly two-decade-long history in Orlando.
Tampa and St. Petersburg have experienced a gay renaissance in the last decade. With rapid urban development and a constant influx of people moving to the sunshine state, St. Pete beach was the perfect place to make a central/West Florida debut.
Celebrity sightings were abundant, too. This year brought legendary comedians, queer influencers, YouTubers, and a few cast sightings like Cuppie Bragg of Amazon Prime’s original lesbian reality series, Tampa Baes.
The three-day event kicked off October 7th with a private beach happy hour at the PostCard Inn, the host hotel right on the sandy beaches of St. Pete. True to GIW form, the first night also featured a special comedy show with award-winning comedian and actress Jen Kober.
Girls in Wonderland – the party that may not have happened
Despite the extremely close call of Hurricane Ian just a week and a half before, spirits were high and the energy was extremely joyous. Had the storm hit closer to St. Petersburg as it was once predicted, the scene would have been completely different.
Photos by Miné Salkin