by Matt Comer (he/him) Director of Operations and Communications, Charlotte Pride

It’s been three years since Uptown Charlotte played host to the massive sea of rainbow-adorned people attending each year’s Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade. Three long years of virtual-only or small and limited socially-distanced activities could never really replace the special meaning and significance of a full-scale, in-person event. 

Last fall, we were all still a little uncertain what the future would hold. We took a wait-and-see approach around October, when we should have originally started planning this year’s events. Vaccines were still being rolled out, and we weren’t certain what new variants or waves of COVID might do. As the new year rolled around, it seemed like we had turned a pandemic corner, and in late January, made the decision to move forward with this year’s in-person festival and parade.

We’re glad we did! 

And by the looks of how many smiling faces we saw on the streets of Uptown a couple weekends ago — it looks like all of you were happy to be back, too! 

By all accounts, the 2022 Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade was a smashing success. It’s a testament to the incredibly hard work, dedication, commitment, and passion of our volunteers. Words can’t really describe the amount of effort, creativity, and ingenuity it took to jumpstart a massive event-planning engine that had sat dormant since 2019. If you haven’t yet already, be sure to thank our volunteer leaders the next time you see them; they’ve certainly earned the praise. 

Our volunteers, our sponsors, our partners with the city and county, our festival vendors, and parade entries — and each and every person in our community who attended — each and every single one of you can lay claim to the success of this year. Because of your commitment and decision to brave the threat of rain and storms (which never came!), Charlotte Pride smashed its previous in-person attendance record of 200,000 visitors over the weekend. We’re still crunching all the final numbers, but our initial 2022 attendance estimate came in at 275,000 — quite simply the single largest gathering of LGBTQ people in the history of Charlotte, or anywhere else in the Carolinas for that matter. 

As we continue to review this year’s events, we thought we’d share just a little bit more about the successes of this events, measured in a variety of ways. 

By the Numbers

  • 275,000 — The initial estimate of how many visitors attended the festival and parade over the weekend
  • 210 — The number of vendors at this year’s festival
  • 194 — The number of entries in the parade
  • 108 — The number of parade entries with a vehicle or float of some kind
  • 45 — The number of floats in the parade
  • 9,230 — The estimated number of individual marchers in the parade
  • 15 — The number of hours of entertainment on the main stage
  • 30 — The combined number of hours of entertainment on the main stage, community stage, and in Flourish: A Celebration of LGBTQ Arts and Culture
  • 600 — The approximate number of guests in this year’s VIP Lounge
  • 5,600 — The approximate number of Charlotte Pride Mobile App users
  • 162,000 — The approximate number of page views on the mobile apps home page
  • 72,000 — The approximate number of page views on the Charlotte Pride website, August 19-21
  • 1,200 — The approximate number of mentions/coverage by news-media, Aug. 19-21

Help us learn more

Obviously, there’s no real value we can put on Pride and no real way to measure all of the joy, empowerment, and happiness the weekend event brought to so many people. But you can help us learn more about the weekend event, its economic impact, and your experiences. Your feedback will help us improve future events and continue to make the case for widespread support of LGBTQ people in Charlotte and the Carolinas. When you take the survey, you can help us finalize our number-crunching, hear important feedback and ideas, and contribute toward a better understanding of this year’s successes.

Take our 2022 event survey today to give us your feedback and help us improve future events: https://cltpri.de/survey.

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