Durham set to host Pride festival

NC Pride looks back on its 30 year history

DURHAM, N.C. — NC Pride  Fest and Parade will be held on Sept. 27 at Duke University’s East Campus, off W. Main St., from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. This marks the 30th time the event has been held.

NC Pride has its roots in the “Our Day Out” gay liberation protest march held in Durham in 1981. An annual festival and parade was begun in 1986 and has continued ever since — for a time visiting various cities across the state, including Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Asheville and Carrboro. Since 2001, the event has been held in Durham, with accompanying night-time parties and events in Raleigh and across the Triangle.

This year, attendees will be able to enjoy a plethora of activities throughout the day.

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Speeches at noon will kick off the pre-parade activities. Following them the annual parade will step off at 1 p.m. and will follow a route down Campus Dr. and then to adjacent streets to the campus and back. The official reviewing stand will be located at the corner of Main St. and Broad St. in the parking lot of The Madhatters Bakery and Cafe complete with a master of ceremonies. Participants will begin line up at 11:30 a.m.

Of course, no Pride festival is complete without fun, food and vendors. The festival continues until 5 p.m. on Duke University’s East Campus.

For those who have not gotten enough Pride yet, nightclubs and other promoters will have events, parties and activities in Raleigh and Durham from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. at various locations.

Prior to the Pride festival the NC Pride 5K Run will be held at 8:30 a.m. beginning at the East Campus. Runners and walkers will be placed in Open Male and Open Female, plus for those over 40, Master Male and Master Female categories. Awards will be presented to the top three in Male and Female and one each to Master Male and Master Female. Light refreshments will be served after the run at 9:30 a.m.

Sponsors are The Bar, Ad Spice Promotional Marketing, LLC, Altered Image Hair Designers and Bull City Running Company.

Online registration ends Sept. 25. Cost is $25. Onsite registration will be available at Bull City Running Co., 202 W. NC Highway 54, Suite 201, on Sept. 26, 4-6 p.m., and before the run on Sept. 27, 6:30-8 a.m. Cost is $30. Entrants are encouraged to register quickly as only 400 registered runners will be accepted.

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Race results will be available online within 24 hours after the end of the race.

Non-profit status still unclear

Efforts to reach NC Pride director John Short proved unsuccessful in the days leading up to press time for this print edition. Short declined an interview opportunity.

In the fall of 2010, NC Pride Director John Short informed qnotes that his organization — at the time, a non-profit with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status from the IRS — was out of compliance with IRS filings. The organization had failed to file annual 990 tax returns for three years. At the time, Short said an accountant would begin work to correct the filing oversights.

Short apparently never completed the filings. In June 2011, the IRS automatically revoked NC Pride’s tax-exempt status. Since then, Short has refused to discuss the organization’s filings and its status as a non-profit organization. A short statement from Short, issued to qnotes in June 2011, was the last the newspaper heard from Short on the matter.

It’s still unclear whether Short has been operating the organization as a non-profit or as a personal for-profit venture. Because the organization files no annual IRS filing, it also remains unclear what monies NC Pride collects and how it is distributed, and there remains no official accounting of how NC Pride donations and other funds were utilized when the organization still had its tax-exempt status.

IRS databases still indicate that NC Pride has not yet had its tax-exempt status restored. : :

info: ncpride.org. ncpriderun.com.

— Matt Comer contributed

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Posted by 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 specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.