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Charlotte Pride Returns For In-Person Events Throughout the Fall

A festival becomes a season

Live music at the Charlotte Pride festival and parade
A view of the Wells Fargo Stage from the 2019 Charlotte Pride festival (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Charlotte Pride announced in a statement on Wednesday that the festival will return to in-person events over a four-month period from September through November in 2021. The Pride festival will turn to a Pride season here in Charlotte as we work our way out of the pandemic with a parade promised for October, though no specific date is set yet.

Charlotte Pride Season’s events will follow whatever COVID-19 safety precautions are necessary when the time comes, according to organizers.

Organizers have taken the pieces of a ‘normal’ festival, parade, and Pride Week, and expanded them into a series of unique events and activities that balance a collective desire to ‘return to normal’ with a clear need and responsibility to ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of the entire community,” the statement read.

people in the streets for the Charlotte Pride parade and festival
Charlotte Pride festival and parade will be a four-month season in 2021. (Photo by Rob Harmon)

Events scheduled for Charlotte Pride Season, as organizers are calling it, will remain scheduled for the following dates but some details may change if public safety calls for it:

  • Charlotte Pride Weekend of Service, Aug. 21-22: A community-wide opportunity to give back and volunteer with opportunities around Charlotte to occur over what would have been the parade and festival dates.
  • Charlotte Pride Interfaith Service, Sept. 12: The traditional interfaith service hosted in a new location with more opportunities for fellowship.
  • Pride Night! A Charlotte Pride Concert Event, Sept. 17: An all-day concert featuring local, regional and national LGBTQ artists and entertainers.
  • Charlotte Pride’s Pop-Up Pride Festival, Sept. 18: A festival experience spread throughout Uptown Charlotte that will feature special zones to avoid the large crowds, but keep the familiar festival experience.
  • Charlotte Pride Parade, October: No date has yet been set for the traditional parade.
  • Reel Out Charlotte, Nov. 5-7: The annual LGBTQ film festival will take place at Camp North End, featuring LGBTQ short and feature films.
  • Charlotte Pride Community Empowerment Conference & Job Fair, Nov. 13: A one-day event consisting of educational and community-building initiatives with a job fair expo. This is an expansion of the 2019 Charlotte Trans Pride Job Fair.

Last year would have marked the 20th anniversary of Charlotte Pride if not halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Charlotte Pride will release more information and details on these events over the next weeks and months as they continue to plan. There are several opportunities for you to get involved with the season from vendor applications to award nominations and more.

In a letter to the community, Charlotte Pride expressed the thinking process that went into the decision to return to in-person events this year.

The last time Charlotte Pride hosted their annual parade and festival in 2019, the temperature was in the mid-90s throughout the two-day event. I arrived on the first day at around 7 a.m. to set up the Queen City Nerve booth and prepared to hand out copies of our Pride Guide with loads of free swag.

Friends of mine from One Voice Chorus came over and began to poke fun at me for how un-gay my booth set up was. A rainbow tablecloth, some glitter, and fanned out copies of the Nerve did just the trick, apprently. The sun began to peak up over the buildings at that point and the oven was preheating. I may have lost a couple of pounds while meeting folks that day, but it was an all-around enjoyable experience that I look forward to returning to after its COVID hiatus.


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