One of the nation’s biggest lesbian events, Girls in Wonderland, begins June 2, 2016, and runs until June 6. With the party headquartered at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista, event organizers are expecting nearly 10,000 lesbians from all over the country to partake in the festivities in Orlando, Florida, over a four-day celebration of equality and freedom.
Presented by Pandora Events, a Miami-based promotions company, Girls in Wonderland will be comprised of three daytime pool parties, a series of notable DJ sets and other shows at local nightclubs and venues around the Disney city.
Bud Light Happy Hour at the Sheraton starts the party at 2pm on Thursday, followed by the Traffic Jam at Southern Nights where DJ Citizen and DJ Nela will be spinning beats hosted by GIRLTHEPARTY.
“It is literally what me and my friends talk about all year,” says Jolene Ramos, who has been attending the event since 2011.
Friday opens with the Wet Pool Party starting DJ Vanessa and DJ Pat Pat for an afternoon of poolside drinks and mingling. The National Center for Lesbian Rights offers a cocktail hour followed by Out for Laughs, a comedy show featuring Suzanne Westenhoefer.
“We are really excited about the girls coming from other parts of county this year,” says Alison Burgos, founder of Pandora Events. “We started out as a south-eastern US event, but in recent years we’re seeing more come from up north like New York, Ohio and Chicago and even Texas.”
Burgos reflects on the change in acceptance surrounding the LGBT community, the past year being a landmark for the acknowledgement of gay marriage in the United States.
“My wife and I are married, and we’ve adopted a child together, legally. There has been so much change; these things weren’t possible for us five or six years ago,” she says.
Referencing the backlash that the transgender and queer community is fighting daily, Pandora Events is enforcing an atmosphere and vision of community that strives for acceptance and equality.
“Girls in Wonderland is not just about partying. It’s about creating positive experiences for LGBT women,” Burgos says. “For everyone to just feel like they can be themselves, and not be scared.”
Girls in Wonderland has only gotten bigger throughout the years. Not just in not overall attendance, but the profiles of its performers has heightened, in addition to the luxury of its venues and settings. This year is shaping up to be the biggest event yet. So grab your bags, ladies; I’ll meet you by the pool.