Pride South Florida Pridefest, one of the largest Pride festivals in the Southeast, takes place in mid-March (the weekend of March 9 and 10 in 2013). It's one of the year's earlier Pride events, occurring during one of the best times to visit Fort Lauderdale, when northern parts of the United States and Canada are still a bit chilly, and South Florida is warm but not overly hot.
Fort Lauderdale's Pridefest comprises two full days of concerts, dancing (including a country-western dance tent), carnival rides and games, food, and all sorts of entertainment, but there are also some events on the Thursday and Friday preceding the weekend, including a Taste of Pride party on Thursday, March 7, at War Memorial Auditorium (starting at 7 pm); and a Pride Comedy Night on Friday, March 8, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts at Parker Playhouse, featuring Jason Stuart and Jessica Kirson.
PrideFest takes place noon until 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday. It includes music spun by top DJs, and outdoor and indoor stage with concerts, a food court with adult beverages available, and dozens of vendors as well as social organizations. The talented pop act Karmin is headlining Pridefest on Sunday, with other performers over the weekend including Frenchie Davis, Yovanni, No Angel, Michael Lynche, Alexis Salgado, and many others, along with a number of the region's top DJs. PrideFest takes place at Holiday Park/War Memorial Auditorium, which is at 800 N.E. 8th Street, in Fort Lauderdale.
There are parties and other gatherings leading up to the weekend, too - check the festival events page for details.
One other big event this year is the South Florida Pride DNR Show Cruise, headlined by beloved OutQ satellite radio hosts Derek & Romaine. This weeklong voyage on Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess sets sail following PrideFest from Fort Lauderdale on March 10, calls at Princess Cays in the Bahamas, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Grand Turk on Turks & Caicos, before returning to Fort Lauderdale on March 17.
Additionally, numerous gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout the week in Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors. Check local gay papers, such as Hot Spots Magazine and Edge Fort Lauderdale, for details. Also take a look at the excellent GLBT site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.