North Carolina’s annual Pride Fest and Parade is set for Saturday, Sept. 25 on the East Campus of Duke University. As always, expect plenty of vendors, outlandish costumes and parade floats and plenty of parade onlookers.

Festival and Parade

NC Pride Fest begins at 10 a.m. with a festival grounds open to the public. Non-profit groups, businesses, food vendors and entertainment will be on site to fill your time until the Pride Rally with state and local speakers, the parade marshal and others kick-off official festivities at noon. The parade starts at 1 p.m. from the East Campus entrance.

Weekend events

Don’t be fooled: NC Pride is way more than just a festival and parade. Nightclubs and eateries across the Triangle team up to present some of the best Friday and Saturday party nights you’ve ever seen. Check out our QGuide nightlife listings for more information about area clubs, bars and more: goqnotes.com/qguide/nc/triangle.

NC Pride Weekend Tour Package

Join NC Pride, the Chapel Hill Convention and Visitors Bureau and Triangle Travel Service for a unique getaway experience like no other. For $299, enjoy a two-night stay at the Sheraton Chapel Hill, plus great tours of area attractions, great food and more. For more information or to make a reservation, visit ncpride.org/ncgaytravel/NCprideweekend.html.

NC Pride Entertainers

Featured entertainers this year at NC Pride include Common Woman Chorus, Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus, Someone’s Sister and two, new featured acts:

Cantaria
Gay men have been singing choral music together in Asheville since the late 1980s, and Cantaria: the Gay Men’s Chorus of Asheville was officially founded in 1997 to provide the opportunity for gay and gay-supportive men to sing excellent choral music together, as well as to strengthen our gay community and provide a positive gay image to the broader community in Western North Carolina.

Under the distinguished leadership of several outstanding conductors, Cantaria has performed a variety of music — not only in Western NC, but in Piccolo Spoleto Charleston and GALA international choral festivals as well. The current artistic director is Steve Cooper, a native of Asheville and local church musician.

The singers in Cantaria say they are delighted to be invited to sing in NC Pride 2010, as well as with the Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus this year. Our repertoire includes classical selections, pop and show tunes, and Pride-themed anthems.

Maurio Hines
Maurio Hines has worked with Long Leaf Opera, Durham Savoyards, Opera Company of North Carolina and Capital Opera. While a student at Greensboro College, his operatic roles included Mr. Angel in “The Impresario,” both Eisenstein and Alfred in “Die Fledermaus” and the Mayor in “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” along with several muscial theatre roles. Maurio recently made his professional debut as a soloist in Handel’s “Messiah” in Durham and as first soldier in the contemporary cantata “Bravesouls and Dreamers” with the Triangle Gay Man’s Chorus. Maurio also recently crossed-over to ballet, playing the role of the Magician in “Aladdin” and Captain Hook in “Peter Pan.” Currently, Maurio has sung the role of Don Basilio and Don Curzio in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” Manuel in “Dream Lovers” and was honored to be the first to sing the roles of Lancelot and Mordred in “Guinevere” for the National Association of Negro Musician’s Conference in Colorado Springs, Colo. Maurio is currently a student at East Carolina University pursuing his Master’s in opera performance and is under the vocal instruction of Dr. Louise Toppin.

— Compiled from information provided courtesy NC Pride.