From the eastern tip of the Tar Heel State to its western mountainy edge, and from the Upstate of South Carolina to its capital city, Columbia, the Carolinas saw plenty of Pride activity in mid-June.
In Wilmington, about a dozen vendors set up shop during the OutWilmington Pride street festival on Water St., near the historic Cape Fear River, on June 13. That evening, approximately 900 community members filled the Hilton Wilmington Riverfront’s grand ballroom to hear Someone’s Sister and drag legend RuPaul perform.
OutWilmington Pride Festival sponsors included the Hilton Wilmington Riverside, encore magazine, TransCon Travel International, WHQR 91.3 and Q-Notes.
LGBT mountaineers joined together in a Pridewalk down Boone’s Main St. on June 13 and a popular dance on that night.
High Country Pride spokesman Gordon Hensley told Q-Notes that the group had yet to have their “post mortem” meeting; numbers on attendance weren’t available. Hensley said the group’s Saturday night dance at the Broyhill Conference Center, usually their most popular event, again attracted large numbers of people.
Hensley said the group was happy with its name change this year. The June 13-14 festivities marked the first time Boone Pride was known as High Country Pride.
High Country Pride worked with several local businesses, Appalachian State University, the school’s two LGBT student groups and others to make the event a success.
Spartanburg’s LGBT community held its first-ever Pride parade and festival on June 20. Area news stations reported attendance at 300-400, although pastor Randy Besta of The Upstate Church told Q-Notes that the attendance could have been as high as 700. Despite the presence of about 100 anti-gay protesters, the events went off without incident.
South Carolina Black Pride was held June 18-21, featuring several events including receptions and parties, a community expo, a day-long seminar of HIV/AIDS among MSM of color and more.
On June 18, Columbia Mayor Bob Coble appeared at the group’s opening reception and addressed the crowd. It was the mayor’s second annual visit to the city’s Black Gay Pride festivities.