STATEWIDE — As Pride Month is extended from June into September in the Carolinas, several towns and cities are gearing up to celebrate the lives of LGBTQ individuals. Not only that, visitors can enjoy these environs as a getaway while the weather is still on the warm side.
Kicking off the month’s celebration is Charleston (SC) Pride Week from Sept. 7-14 with the festival being held on Sept. 14. Included in the slate of free activities are: Rhapsody Pride at Rhapsody CrossFit, Kickoff Takeover at Taco Boy, Alliance for Full Acceptance Pride Family Picnic, Celebration of Faith at Metropolitan Community Church of Charleston, Equality Hub, among others, plus Charleston Pride Parade in Downtown Charleston at 9 a.m.; and Charleston Pride Festival at Brittlebank Park, Charleston, at 10 a.m. Other cost-related events will be held throughout the week. Visit charlestonpride.org for full details.
The Outer Banks (OBX) Pridefest will be held from Sept. 13-15 in Nags Head, N.C. Among activities are a sunset booze cruise, Pride & Joy drag show; festival, dancing and a drag brunch. Visit obxpridefest.com for more information.
Next up is the Gaston Pride Festival on Sept. 14 in Gastonia, N.C. Participants can enjoy a day in the sun and camaraderie featuring live entertainment, vendors and a children’s area. See facebook.com/gastonpride for more details.
On the following day, Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., head to the Triad for the Greensboro Pride Festival in Downtown Greensboro, N.C. Participants can visit vendor booths, enjoy entertainment emceed by Lawanda Jackson (former Miss Gay USA and Miss Gay USA Classic) from headliners Dana St. James (former Miss North Carolina USA), Ebony Addams (former Miss North Carolina USA) and Rap and Hip Hop artist Ed E. Ruger, along with Indya Chantal, Carter Rayes, NC A&T Modeling Troupe Couture, Vylet, CaliWood, Dez Jetsib, Shomma, Skykym, Kakeboss, Lovari, Rebekah Yokeley, Demi Day, Kitty Litter, Paisley Parque, Crystal Frost, Ferra Rimmington, Amore Diamond, Teri Floyd, Flannel Weather, Giselle Caddidy Carter, Unisex, Nytes DeVille, Isis Glamorous, Betty J, Mona Loverly, Karama Dior, Deion, Jlo Jonez, Perspective the Duet, PlayBoii Red, Michael George Ross, DJ Macray, Izzy A. Starr, Kiki Diamond, Belladona, Vyki LaRoXxX, Finn Phoenix, E.M. Shaun, and Triad Pride Performing Arts. Others who will be making an appearance are Mayor Nancy B. Vaughan, transgender advocate Janice Covington Allison (who will address the audience), Heidi N Closet (Pride Queen) and Omega St. James (Pride King), TPPA and Brenda the Drag Queen. A KidsZone is available for the younger set and a specially brewed first-ever Pride Beer will be available for purchase during the festival at the Greensboro Pride Beer Garden at Little Brother Brewing. See greensboropride.org for information, performance times and more.
Rounding out this set of festival is the Catawba Valley Pride Festival being held from Sept. 21 in Hickory, N.C. The event will be held at SALT Block Foundation, 31 3rd Ave. N.E. In its 10th year, the Unifour area brings its celebration to the LGBTQ and allied communities. Details are still being worked out for the event. Visit catawbavalleypride.org for updates.