On June 12, gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 others in a brutal attack on Orlando gay nightclub Pulse, during the club's Latin Night. On Thursday, the club owner's will host an event for the first time since the mass shooting. The theme will, once more, be Latin Night.
“We need to show we are strong, that Pulse continues and that we appreciate all the help this community has shown us,” Pulse owner Barbara Poma told Click Orlando. She added, "We have all come through an extraordinary and terrible ordeal, and we know that we have to keep moving forward. My commitment is to keep Pulse alive, and this is a great way to start just that."
In a statement following the shooting, Poma wrote that "Pulse will always continue to be the heartbeat of Orlando."
The party will take place at Wildside BBQ & Grille, a restaurant on Washington Street in downtown Orlando owned by Poma's husband, and spill into the street. Pulse, located roughly two miles away from Wildside, is still closed.
The party, set to last from 5 pm to 11 pm, will raise funds for employees. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Pulse DJs and performers will participate in the event, which will also function as a memorial for those killed. Pulse spokeswoman Sara Brady told The Sentinel that attendees can expect a classic Pulse event. In her words: “It will be Latin night, Washington Street will be closed, Pulse entertainers will be dancing, drag queens… the whole megillah."
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.