Wilton Manors is 35 percent to 40 percent gay and thriving. It has the third higher proportion of same-sex households than any other city in the country.
Unlike Key West, Wilton Manors is not a resort town. Nor does it does conform to clichés about what the United States’ third-gayest city would be like.
As a gay magnet, Wilton Manors has returned to its Middle American roots.
Main Street USA
Wilton Manors Main Street is a curved drive that runs from NE 4th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, curves to meet 26th Street in Wilton Manors, ending at US 1.
Main Street is the shopping and entertainment hub of Wilton Manors, all are welcome, but if celebrating with same sex couples disturbs you, this might not be for you.
Georgie’s Alibi is the granddaddy of the bars in the area. Sidelines allows smoking and features a sports theme with TVs, pool tables and darts.
Between the two is Wilton Manors’ new City Hall and Police Station and a new luxury apartment / retail complex. Many new townhomes, condos and conversions were built during the boom, many are available for much less than original prices
Three other bars worthy of mention. The new Manor features entertainment and is a notch above other places on the Drive. The New Moon is the reigning Women’s place. And another new bar, Matty’s, has just added food service.
Other places to eat: Rosie’s for pub grub; Galanga for asian cuisine; and Humpy’s for pizza and sandwiches.
Christmas Tee Lighting
On December 2, 2010, at 6:30pm, the City of Wilton Manors sponsors the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. That evening they present the traditional lighting of the Christmas Tree, The Menorah and the Kinara and live choral performances.
With warm nights, it’s always delightful to walk through the neighborhood of mid-century homes to see the Holiday Lights decked out on many. The best viewing in on the northeast side of the city, turning north on 26th Street at 16th Avenue then making your first right.
All communities have their Christmas traditions. Many in the community spend Christmas Eve at the Sunshine Cathedral in nearby Fort Lauderdale. Part of the Metropolitan Community Church, Sunshine Cathedral has three services that night at 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30. If it is a cool evening, you’ll see the traditional red sweaters and turtle necks, but you’ll also see leather daddies decked out in their finery. All are welcome to participate in the service. Seating is free, but donors have reserved seating areas. Check out details here.
There will also be a Holiday Concert, Parallel Marys, on December 11, 2010, at 7pm.
Home for the Holidays: The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida will hold their premiere concerts on December 17th and 18th at 8:00pm. Admission is $25.
Take I-95 to Oakland Park Boulevard, east to 16th Avenue, turn west on 26th Street.
From US-1, go to 26th Street and head west.
There is paid and free parking in the area. Walking from one end of Wilton Drive to the other is flat and takes less than a half hour.