Memorial Day weekend on Miami Beach: OutGames, salute to American heroes

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In a first for a U.S. city, Miami Beach is hosting the World OutGames later this month, billed as a 450-event competition from May 26 to June 2.

The competition, which includes beach volleyball, a marathon and half-marathon as well as basketball competition, is a culmination of a multi-year effort to host the event locally. Previous hosts have been Montreal, Copenhagen and Antwerp.

A news release distributed by the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority said the “sports, the 10-day event features a range of arts and social events, including a main Festival Village at Lummus Park, live performances at the Colony Theatre, and a human rights conference featuring speakers from the United Nations.”

The event will also coincide with Miami Beach’s Memorial Day Weekend, when Hyundai is sponsoring a May 27-28 event called “National Salute to America’s Heroes” that promises an Air & Sea Show best seen between 11th and 14th streets featuring fly-bys and demonstrations of war planes, including bombers, fighter jets and the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights.

The Human Rights component of the event was scheduled to be held at the newly renovated and expanded Miami Beach Convention Center. But it won’t be done in time.

“As a leading destination for LGBT-inclusiveness, Miami Beach is the perfect place for the first ever World OutGames in the U.S.,” Convention Authority executive director Grisette Roque said in a statement. “We’re honored to host the games and show athletes and dignitaries from around the world what makes Miami Beach so vibrant and extraordinary.”

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