Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge to ditch pride colors for red, white, and blue this summer

Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge will not be displaying rainbow lights this year and will instead be lit with red, white, and blue lights for over three months.

The bridge, which serves as a gateway to Tampa Bay, will be lit with patriotic colors starting Memorial Day on May 27 all the way through Labor Day on Sept. 2. During this time, the bridge will not be lit with rainbow colors for one week to coincide with Pride month, the first time since 2020 that the bridge is skipping out on its rainbow lighting.

“As Floridians prepare for Freedom Summer, Florida’s bridges will follow suit, illuminating in red, white, and blue from Memorial Day through Labor Day!” Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue posted on X. “Thanks to the leadership of @GovRonDeSantis, Florida continues to be the freest state in the nation.”

Manatee County is one of three counties the bridge connects, with Mike Rahn, the county’s commission chairman, explaining that this decision to light the bridge in patriotic colors came from Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) office. He added that since he is only the Manatee County’s commission chairman, he does not have the authority to override the governor’s decision.

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Over the past three years, Sunshine Skyway Bridge has been lit with rainbow colors for one week to tie into Pride month, which takes place all of the month of June. Other holidays that will be skipped over by the bridge lighting include National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 7 and Juneteenth on June 19.

The Florida bridge prepping for a patriotic summer comes after the Sunshine State welcomed over 140 million tourists last year, a record-breaking number of vacationers. Over 129 million of these were domestic travelers, while 8.3 million were people visiting from overseas.

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