News & Opinion

Charlotte Pride Postpones Multiple Events Amid Rising COVID-19 Rates

Locations and dates of certain events to change with proof of vaccination required for entry

people in the streets for the Charlotte Pride parade and festival
Packed streets are a regular site at the Charlotte Pride festival and parade (Photo by Rob Harmon)

Charlotte Pride announced in a release Monday that the organization will postpone certain events and celebrations scheduled for its upcoming Pride Season due to low vaccination rates and heightened test-positivity rates of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. The postponed events include the Charlotte Pride Drag Pageant, Charlotte Pride Interfaith Celebration, and the Charlotte Pride Festival & Concert.

Pride organizers announced in May that the events and festivities for 2021 would take place over a four-month period, calling it Pride Season, rather than the weekend-long events of the past 20 years. Events began as scheduled last weekend with the Charlotte Pride Weekend of Service, which consisted of small groups doing work in the community. However, organizers felt that larger gatherings would be irresponsible at this time.  

“Charlotte Pride planned our four-month-long Pride Season precisely in case we needed to scale back or make changes due to the continuing pandemic. The time has now come to make these alterations,” Daniel Valdez, president of the Charlotte Pride board of directors said in a statement.

On the same day of the announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now being marketed as Comirnaty.

“Throughout the pandemic, Charlotte Pride’s highest priority has been to keep our entire community safe and healthy,” Valdez continued. “As these fluid and ever-changing circumstances continue to unfold, we’ll keep monitoring all public health guidance and best practices for large events like ours. Come October, we hope to be at a place where our events are possible and safe for our community. To reach that point, we ask for everyone’s help. If we are unable to reach a place in which we can host our in-person activities safely, we will make decisions, like those in 2020, to protect our valuable and vulnerable community.” 

The following Charlotte Pride events have been rescheduled:

  • The Charlotte Pride Drag Pageant will now be part of the October 16 concert and festival.
  • The Charlotte Pride Interfaith Celebration will now take place on October 17 at 4 p.m. at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church; 1600 Norris Avenue.
  • The Charlotte Pride Festival & Concert will now take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 16 at the AvidXchange Music Factory Festival Grounds; 819 Hamilton Street.

The parade will take place on Sunday, October 24 as originally scheduled in Uptown Charlotte.

Anyone attending the upcoming Charlotte Pride events will be required to show proof of vaccination as well as wear a mask at any event taking place indoors regardless of vaccination status.

“We are hopeful that this postponement will encourage all members of our community and our allies to take the initiative to get fully vaccinated and do their part to protect our community,” Valdez states.

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