Charlotte Pride brought hundreds of thousands of people together to celebrate and spread positivity to the community and each other. Over 260,000 people clad in every color of the rainbow strolled down Tryon Street and through Uptown Charlotte between Saturday and Sunday.

Charlotte Pride Programs & Development Director Meredith Thompson said every year she is amazed how Pride continues to grow and succeed. 

“As one of just two staff people working with Charlotte Pride, I am humbled by the year-round efforts of our hard-working board and a team of about 40 volunteers who work tirelessly to make this festival and parade happen,” she offers. “I’m especially grateful for our board president, Riley Murray, who has given two decades of her life to our organization and cares so passionately about creating a memorable and affirming experience for LGBTQ people and their allies, not only for our two-day Pride festival but every day.”

Pride weekend was filled with many events, with the most highly attended being the festival. Hundreds of tents lined Tryon Street and adjoining roads, each attended to by various vendors, LGBTQ+ rights organizations and more. 

Many performers appeared on the main stage, including Grammy-award winning artist Big Freedia. She performed some of her most popular songs, including some from her most recent album, “Central City” which was released earlier this year. 

One of the biggest traditions at Charlotte Pride is Sunday’s Pride parade, which Thompson said broke records  with 200+ contingents, 40+ floats, and roughly 10,000 participants.

“This was our biggest and best parade yet, and we are so thankful for sponsors and community members who stand behind us and show up in support of our LGBTQ community,” Thompson says. “It takes a lot of time, passion and coordinated effort to ensure a memorable, fun and safe experience for more than a quarter million people.”

Thompson expressed her thanks for the people who work hard to make Pride happen every year, and said she hopes the celebration continues to grow every year. 

“Hundreds of weekend-of volunteers give their time to ensure everything runs smoothly,” she explains. “I would also like to express my gratitude to numerous city departments who work very hard to ensure we have a safe event every year … We couldn’t have Pride if people didn’t show up, and they do, year [after] year. As long as they show up for us, we will keep showing up for them.”

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