COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Pride will be held on Oct. 20 with a parade at noon and the festival beginning at 1 p.m.

The parade will start on Laurel St., between Assembly and Sumter Sts. and will progress down Main and Sumter Sts. toward the South Carolina. State House. The festival will be held along Main St. between Hampton and Gervais Sts.

The Main Event, will feature vocalist Sheena Easton, celebrity impersonator Chad Michaels, recording artist Reina, along with an array of drag queens and kings, as well as long-time human rights activist and community organizer Tony Snell.

Let the Music Play, an after party, will be held at Chelsea’s Upstairs, 1734 Main St., from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. It will feature the talents of dance music artist Shannon. DJ Treavor and DJ Joseph will spin. Cover charge is $15 at the door.

Festival goers can have access to the VIP and Ultra VIP lounges. The Ultra VIP is an enclosed building right at the main stage. Ticket holders are entitled to free liquor sponsored by Ketel One, free catered food by Scott Hall Catering, VIP parking, meet and greet with main stage performers and more. Regular VIP activities are also included. Cost is $100 and is limited to 150 people.

A VIP tent with Barefoot Wine and Miller beer, plus water and sodas is just across the street from the Ulta VIP Lounge. If time permits, meet and greet with performers is also part of the package. Cost is $35 advance/$40 at the festival.

Mr. Pride, Addictive, and Miss SC Pride, Martina Diamante, will be on hand to welcome guests throughout the festival and parade. They were selected at a pageant held on Sept. 29 at the CMFA Event Hall.

Other events during the week are: Oct. 14, opening ceremony, followed by a volunteer lunch and orientation; Oct. 15, Bowling with Pride; Oct. 16, “Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story;” screening and discussion on film about fag hags by Ed Madden, University of South Carolina professor; Oct. 17, Road to The Main Event welcome reception; Oct. 18, “Keep the Lights On;” Oct. 19, Pride in the City; Oct. 19, official pre-party; and Oct. 21, SC Pride.

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Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at and 704-531-9988,...