Feature StoriesGuides & EventsLGBTQNews & Opinion

What to Do at Charlotte Pride in 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

Enjoy more than 40 events in Charlotte from official Charlotte Pride activities to additional related events

Charlotte Pride logo

Our 2023 guide to Charlotte Pride is sponsored by the Charlotte Pride Parade & Festival. Enjoy week-long festivities throughout Charlotte as the organization celebrates 40 years of Pride legacy in the Queen City.

A Guide to Charlotte Pride 2023

When the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade returns to Uptown Aug. 19-20, it will be with a momentum unlike any other after last year saw a record-breaking 275,000 attendees.

The annual event celebrates LGBTQ+ inclusivity and pays tribute to more than 50 years of LGBTQ liberation, 20-plus years of Charlotte Pride and more than 40 years of Pride legacy in the Queen City, counting for the underground organizations that preceded Charlotte Pride’s founding in 2021.

That’s plenty to be proud of.

The 2023 festivities kick off during Charlotte Pride Week, Aug. 11-18, with dozens of events leading up to the festival on Aug. 19 and 20, and a parade on Aug. 20. Charlotte Pride’s weekend-long cultural festival includes a variety of national, regional and local entertainers, musicians, bands, LGBTQ resources and vendors including art exhibits, local nonprofits, retailers, a food court and more.

We’ve put together a guide for navigating all that Charlotte Pride has to offer, plus over 30 additional Pride-related events happening at venues across the city.

Stay safe and happy Pride!

Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade

Youth & Family Zone
Aug. 19 & 20 | Noon – 10 p.m. | South Tryon Street
A family-friendly space with arts and crafts, community resources, a family care tent and special speakers and entertainers, including a drag queen story hour. The Youth & Family Zone is on private property and designed only for young people under 21 and their family/parents/legal guardians.

Health Fair
Aug. 19, noon – 10 p.m. | Aug. 20, noon – 6 p.m. | Charlotte Pride Festival Zone
Attendees can check up on their personal health and wellness, get an HIV test, visit with wellness vendors and more.

Flourish: A Celebration of LGBTQ Arts & Culture
Aug. 19 | 1 – 6 p.m. | Wells Fargo Atrium
A mini arts festival inside the Wells Fargo Atrium featuring LGBTQ performing, visual and spoken-word artists as well as LGBTQ short films.

Children playing in the Youth & Family Zone at Charlotte Pride
Scenes from the 2022 Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade Youth & Family Zone (Photo by Bobby Kerns)

Charlotte Pride Drag Pageant
Aug. 19 | 2 – 6 p.m. | Charlotte Pride Community Stage, intersection of 4th & Tryon Streets
In its second year, watch at the festival as local drag performers compete for the crowns of Mx. Charlotte Pride, Ms. Charlotte Pride and Mr. Charlotte Pride.

Charlotte Gaymers Stage
Aug. 19, noon – 9 p.m. | Aug. 20, noon – 5 p.m. | Levine Avenue of the Arts
The Charlotte Gaymers Network showcases a lineup of up-and-coming DJs, with sets from DJ Sweetee, DJ SK8ER G8ER and more, plus a variety of drag performers and a gaming activation next to the stage.

Neighborhood Market
Aug. 19, noon – 10 p.m. | Aug. 20, noon – 6 p.m. | Levine Avenue of the Arts
A market, presented by the Arts & Science Council, where local artists, artisans, craftspeople and makers sell their wares.

Charlotte Pride Parade
Aug. 20 | 1 – 4 p.m. | North Tryon Street
Dozens of floats and thousands of marchers make their way down a rainbow-filled Tryon Street during Charlotte’s largest annual parade.


Pride Game Night
Aug. 11 | 6 p.m. | Sip City | Free
Kicking off Charlotte Pride Week with a night of family-friendly trivia with hosts Onya Nerves and Liam Laughin.

Beers for Equality
Aug. 11 | 6 p.m. | NoDa Brewing Company – North End location | $35
A night that combines Beers 4 Equality, a drag show and bingo, organized by LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) North Carolina. Tickets include a Beers 4 Equality beer glass, your first beer free, an HRC membership or renewal, and entrance to bingo and the drag show starring Karen Affection and her drag queen friends. NoDa Brewing is also donating 50 cents of every beer sale back to HRC North Carolina.
More: $35; Aug. 11, 6 p.m.; NoDa Brewing Company – North End location, 150 W. 32nd St.;

Buff Faye’s “PUMP UP THE JAM” Drag Brunch
Aug. 12 | 11 a.m. | Midtown Tavern | $20 – $75
Charlotte’s longest-running drag brunch. Ticket does not include food or drinks.

Loud & Proud – Charity Drag Brunch
Aug. 12 | 11:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. | The Artisan’s Palate | $23
Get loud and proud during brunch at The Artisan’s Palate while raising money for Charlotte Pride. Drag performers include Jayla Serena Mitchell, Valarie Rockwell, Tia Douglas and Angela Lopez.

Pride Kick Off Party
Aug. 12 | 9-11 p.m. | Protagonist Beer – LoSo | Free
A party hosted by DKO Entertainment and Protagonist Beer at their LoSo location to celebrate Charlotte Pride Week, featuring drag performances by Onya Nerves, Lolita Chanel, Marty McGuy, Mania Mua and Liam Laughin.

Pride Kickoff Dance Wave
Aug. 12 |10 p.m. | Bar Argon | Free
A dance party at Bar Argon to get Pride off on the right foot.

Seedling Brunch
Aug. 13 | 11 a.m.-2 p.m. | Plant Joy | Free 
Plant Joy hosts what they’re billing as Charlotte’s first vegan drag brunch with the help of entertainers Onya Nerves, Druzilla La Fae, Blaze O’Glory, Giovonni Diamond and Sunny Dior. Food and drinks are an additional cost.

The Queen City Renaissance Mixer
Aug. 13 | 3-6 p.m. | The Market at 7th Street | $7
A mixer themed after Beyoncé’s album, Renaissance, celebrating queer BIPOC in the Queen City. The event, organized by Prism Social CLT, includes prizes for best dressed, raffles, special performances and live music by DJBSanddd.

Pride Poster Night
Aug. 14 | 6:30 p.m. | Time Out Youth | Free
Make posters for the Charlotte Pride Parade and freshen up your volunteer tabling skills in partnership with PFLAG Charlotte and The Lotus Project. Pizza, salad and refreshments will be provided. Advance registration is required.

Person holding a sign reading "GAY!!!!!" in the annual Charlotte Pride Parade
Scene from the 2022 Charlotte Pride Parade in Uptown Charlotte (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Charlotte Thrives: Queer Storytelling Event
Aug. 16 | 7:30 p.m. | Free Range Brewing | $10
Local queer storytellers share their stories to help us understand others and ourselves.

Robyn & Charlotte’s Hair-aoke at Petra’s
Aug. 16 | 8 p.m. | Petra’s | $5
Drag duo and real-life sisters Robyn O’Ladies and Charlotte Douglas are hosting a night full of wigs, karaoke, performances, lip-sync battles, music and more. Door proceeds benefit Equality North Carolina.

Out in Tech Charlotte: Pride Mixer
Aug. 17 | 5-8 p.m. | Bank of America Tower, 33rd floor | Free
Network with LGBTQ+ tech leaders on the 33rd floor of the Bank of America Tower in Uptown while enjoying beverages and heavy apps. It’s suggested that attendees wear business casual or smart casual attire with a summer flair.

Pride Trivia Night
Aug. 17 | 6-9 p.m. | Weathered Souls Charlotte | Free
BOOM Charlotte’s own Jelly Clarkson hosts a night of trivia and Pride-filled festivities at Weathered Souls Brewing in South End. A dollar from every beer sale will be donated to BOOM Charlotte.

Overcast X Escapades Pride After-Party
Aug. 18 & 19 | 2-6 a.m. | Secret location | $20 and up 
A Pride after-party like no other, where attendees are encouraged to liberate themselves and explore their wilder side. Hosted at a secret location less than 15 minutes north of NoDa (address will be sent with ticket purchase), this party promises eye-catching model dancers, dark corners, warm bodies and lots of dancing. The dress code is anything goes, or you can pay $5 to check your clothes altogether.

Drastic Dykes and Accidental Activists: Queer Women in the Urban South
Aug. 18 | 4-6 p.m. | Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City | Free 
La Shonda Mims talks about her book, Drastic Dykes and Accidental Activists: Queer Women in the Urban South, which examines lesbian life in Atlanta and Charlotte.

Pride Pre-Party at Wooden Robot
Aug. 18 | 6-10:30 p.m. | The Chamber by Wooden Robot | $15 for drag show
Live music by DJ SeeBirdGo, an LGBTQ+ vendor market and a rooftop drag show hosted by Onya Nerves with performances by Oso Chanel, Marceline Mashic, Faith n Mae, RC Cola and Liam Laughin.

Starlight’s Pre-Pride Extravaganza
Aug. 18 | 7:30 p.m. | Starlight on 22nd | $5 suggested donation
Join the Charlotte Royals — Charlotte’s LGBTQIA+ and inclusive rugby club — at Starlight for a night of music by Hey RICHARD!, dancing, beer, prizes and raffle items from NoDa Brewing Co., Wicked Weed, Carolina Premium and others. Proceeds directly benefit the rugby team.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte Presents: PROUD
Aug. 18 | 7:30 p.m. | St. Martin’s Episcopal Church | $10 and up; Free
A choral concert by Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte featuring songs like “Shalom” by Dan Forrest, “Proud” by Heather Small (from the TV show Queer as Folk), “A Patch of Light” by Jacob Narverud, and “Does the World Say?” by Kyle Pederson.

Pride Kickoff & Barn Dance at Chasers
Aug. 18 | 8 p.m. | Chasers | $5
A barn dance at Chasers hosted by Southern Country Charlotte featuring country music, two-stepping, line dancing, and drink specials with music by the BearCowboy.

A large crowd of people enjoying the annual Charlotte Pride festival in Charlotte NC
Charlotte Pride drew the largest crowd in the organizations history in 2022 (Photo by Bobby Kerns)

CLT Sapphic Pride Weekend Kickoff
Aug. 18 | 8 p.m. | Bar Argon | Free
Kick off Pride with the womxn who love womxn at this event by Lesbian Friends of Charlotte. The night includes a RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing and a DJ that starts at 10 p.m.

Girls Room Pride ft. J. Worra
Aug. 18 | 9 p.m. | Black Box Theater | $20 and up
A party featuring music by DJs J. Worra, DOMii, snshne and SeeBirdGo. Girls Room Charlotte parties are curated by queer women to spotlight women, non-binary people and marginalized groups in music and art.

The Vanity House Pride Fest: Friday Night Party
Aug. 18 | 10 p.m. | Ink N Ivy | $20 and up
The same show you know and love with The Vanity House Divas just turned up a notch with rotating DJs, guest performers, body painters, photo opportunities and more.

The Vanity House Pride Fest: Drag Brunch
Aug. 19 | 11 a.m. | Ink N Ivy | $40
Pop bottles and celebrate Pride with The Vanity House for a one-of-a-kind drag brunch — buffet included. After the show, mix, mingle and take photos with the queens.

Culture Shock Drag Brunch
Aug. 19 | 11 a.m. | Resident Culture South End | $20 and up
Another drag brunch by the kings and queens of DKO Entertainment, but this one is at Resident Culture South End. Ticket does not include food or drinks.

The Dancing Queens: Pride Fest Day Party
Aug. 19 | 4-10 p.m. | Victoria Yards | $15 and up
An electronic mini-festival with an all-female DJ lineup — KAKIES, KAMIGO, BAYSS, XIAMOR, TZNT, and DGTL DIVA — spinning house, disco, nu-disco, UKG (UK garage) and ‘70s classics. The event includes food trucks, vendors, live art and a special performance by Queen City Shufflers.

Girls Room Pride Festival
Aug. 19 | 5-11 p.m. | The Music Yard at SouthBound | $10 and up
An immersive experience created by Girls Room Charlotte that celebrates diversity by bringing together the local LGBTQ community. The event features DJ sets, performers, vendors and more.

Back to Hartigan’s Time Machine Pride Party
Aug. 19 | 7 p.m. | Resident Culture – South End | $25-$45
Turn back the clock and reminisce about the good times at Hartigan’s Pub, a longtime lesbian bar in Charlotte that closed in 2014. VIPs get a one-hour exclusive ‘80s-themed reception before the doors open and the ‘90s hits start playing, followed by early 2000s songs and then anything goes (including Hartigan’s throwbacks and current hits). Ticket sales benefit local nonprofit Hearts United for Good.

‘Hit the Wall’
Aug. 19 & 20 | 7:30 p.m. | The Arts Factory at West End Studios | $22
QC Concerts performs Hit the Wall, a play by Ike Holter that relives the Stonewall riots in Lower Manhattan in 1969 accompanied by a live rock ‘n’ roll band.

The Vanity House Pride Fest Featuring Detox
Aug. 19 | 9 p.m. | Ink N Ivy | $28 and up
Party with Rupaul’s Drag Race fan favorite Detox and the Vanity Divas.

WONDERLAND Just Twirl Pride Party
Aug. 19 | 10 p.m. | Black Box Theater | $40 and up
Head down the rabbit hole for this Alice in Wonderland-themed Pride party featuring international DJ Sam Gee. A portion of proceeds will benefit Twirl to the World Foundation’s Twirl Assistance Program supporting local LGBTQ+ in need.

Aug. 19 | 10 p.m. | Bassment Charlotte | $20 and up
An electrifying dance event featuring internationally acclaimed DJ Citizen Jane. Attendees are encouraged to dress in rainbow/unicorn theme.

Carolina Creepshow’s CREEPCHELLA
Aug. 19 | 10 p.m. | Snug Harbor | $15
Carolina Creepshow’s alternative drag events celebrate the obscure, the terrifying, the camp and the macabre and this show is no different. Vegas Van Dank and Bloody Mary host the queerest party of the night starring The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Titans winner Victoria Elizabeth Black with special guest Opulence Black.

After Pride at Billy Sunday
Aug. 20 | 3 p.m. | Billy Sunday Charlotte | Free
Relax after the Pride festival and parade with a DJ and drag at Billy Sunday.

Church Pride Potluck and Bingo
Aug. 27 | 12:30 p.m. | SouthPark Christian Church | Free
SouthPark Christian Church — an open, affirming and inclusive congregation — hosts an outdoor potluck with games, bingo, karaoke, a raffle and a Kona Ice truck. Sign up to bring an appetizer, main dish, side or salad.

SUPPORT OUR WORK: Get better connected and become a member of Queen City Nerve to support local journalism for as little as $5 per month. Our community journalism helps inform you through a range of diverse voices.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *