Thousands attended the 2010 Pride Charlotte festival at the NC Music Factory on Saturday, Oct. 2. Organizers had changed the festival’s date from last year’s late-July to fall. They hoped cooler weather and the new location would please attendees. Their gamble might very well have paid off.
Community groups and businesses lined Hamilton St. and parts of the Music Factory property. Among them was Campus Pride, which brought its LGBT-Friendly College Fair to Charlotte. The group’s fair was the first ever held in the Southeast. A dozen schools from across North Carolina and the country attended, reaching out to prospective LGBT students. Other community vendors included churches, local and state advocacy groups, Pridewear retailers and government agencies like the Mecklenburg County Department of Health, which passed out safe sex awareness materials and free condoms.
About a dozen anti-gay protesters also attended the event. They held signs, preached and attempted to talk with Pride attendees. The protesters’ presence this year was considerably less vocal and dramatic than last. At Pride Charlotte 2009, a few hundred protesters held a “God Has a Better Way” rally after marching through downtown.