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Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May as part of the [[Wikipedia:Uniform Holidays Bill|Uniform Holidays Bill]] of []. The Monday closure of schools and many workplaces created a three-day weekend during which many Americans travel and take vacations. For beach communities like [[Pensacola Beach]], Memorial Day Weekend effectively marks the beginning of the summer tourism season.
Since the mid-1980s, a number of gay and lesbian organizations in the South have gathered in Pensacola during Memorial Day Weekend for parties and other events. Promoter [[Johnny Chisholm]] has organized many of these circuit parties since [], when festivities were located in the [[Pensacola Civic Center]].<ref>[http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070527/ap_on_re_us/redneck_riviera_gays Gays Flock to Fla. Panhandle for Holiday]. Associated Press, May 27, 2007 .</ref>
In [], the gay and lesbian events drew as many as 60,000 visitors per year. Later that year, [[Hurricane Ivan]] damaged the businesses and infrastructure on Pensacola Beach, causing a tourism decline in subsequent years, but by [] an estimated 50,000 tourists arrived for Memorial Day Weekend.<ref>"Hotels filling fast for holiday weekend." ''Pensacola News Journal'', May 24, 2007.</ref>