‘Wildly Unacceptable’: Venice Pride Festival Features Sex Toys, Explicit Dancing With Children Present

November 16, 2022 Updated 4:14 PM ET

Source: Kayden Cokley
Source: Kayden Cokley

VENICE (FLV) – Onlookers are upset after Venice Pride hosted a festival that featured explicit dancing and sex toys on public property Saturday.

Florida’s Voice received a slew of videos and pictures showing a dildo ring toss game and attendees sensually dancing with little clothing at the city’s gazebo with kids present. Venice Pride received a special event permit from the city to host a festival at Centennial Park in downtown Venice Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Venice Pride’s permit application described the event as providing events and activities for “all ages.”

“I saw a scantily clad drag queen walking through the park visible to families and children. I saw children and families perusing through the isles of multiple pro LGBTQ booths. One reading ‘pussy power’ and selling T-Shirts that say the same. Another with the dildo ring toss etc.,” Sarasota County resident Melissa Bakondy told Florida’s Voice.

Source: Kayden Cokley

“I did not think it was a family friendly event as advertised or appropriate for children. It doesn’t matter what kind of event it is, obscenity does not belong in the public square. Sexualizing children is not appropriate. Drag shows next to the ‘kids corner’ & in view of children is not appropriate,” Bakondy said.

Republican Party of Sarasota Acting Chairman Jack Brill demanded an investigation into who approved the “wildly unacceptable” event on display where children were present.

“An outrageous and unacceptable display went on Sunday at the Venice Pride Festival that requires a full investigation. A display of rainbow colored dildos were for sale at a sidewalk booth with children walking by, while a pair of drag queens in thongs, tutus and spiked heels danced lasciviously in front of the gazebo in Centennial Park,” Brill said on Facebook.

Brill said the Republican Venice City Council Members would take the lead to investigate immediately.

“The Republican Party of Sarasota County will not stand by while our children’s innocence is violated. Just as we committed unparalleled resources to elect School Board members in August who will protect our children in the schools, so we will fight to protect them at every point in our communities,” Brill said.

A spokesperson for the city told Florida’s Voice it was “disappointed” with some of the activities at the event and will update its special event rules and conduct standards.

This was the first time this event was conducted on City property. It was presented to the City as an event which would be suitable for all ages with an objective to “build collaboration around community.”

The City was very disappointed to learn that some of the actual event activities did not align with the approved event description. The City of Venice was not informed of and did not approve the details of these activities.

The City has begun reviewing and updating its special event rules and conduct standards to ensure that all future special events are appropriate for the planned location and are conducted as presented in the special event permit application.

City of Venice Public Information Officer Lorraine Anderson

The city said it did not sponsor or host the event. The pride event was advertised on the city’s calendar.

A description on the city’s website lists the event as having a “diverse mix of entertainers and activities for all ages.”

Florida’s Voice Reached out to Venice Pride for a comment. The story will be updated when a comment is provided.

Sarasota County Commissioner Christian Ziegler said he was shocked to see the pictures of dildos and explicit dancing in a public space where children are walking.

“I think that’s obscene. I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s again infuriating,” Ziegler said. “When you start taking this to the streets inside the local community, it’s imposing that onto my family, onto my values, but also onto my children and that’s where I kind of draw the line.”

Ziegler backed Brill’s calls for an investigation into how the event was approved, noting that it could be difficult for the city to know exactly what would happen beforehand.

“Now that we’re seeing what really happened, hopefully they reflect on this in the future and that it’s tightened up with some of these events that are allowed out in the public like this,” he said.

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Florida’s Voice is a patriotic news network that you can trust to deliver the truth with no hidden agenda. Founder and Editor in Chief Brendon Leslie left his job in mainstream news to practice journalism as it should be, unbiased and unbossed.

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