Charlotte’s Pride celebration reportedly began with roots dating back 50 years and is known to include a community picnic in the early 1980s at the city’s west side Bryant Park. Although the crowd at that time was a limited number, it demonstrated that Charlotte’s LGBTQ community was ready to politically organize, come together and socialize, have fun and show pride in their identity.

Since those beginning gatherings long ago, our community celebration has changed names more than once, passed through different production and management teams, relocated numerous times and grown from a small crowd and picnics to a massive crowd in center city Charlotte that includes a parade, a festival with a vendor fare and live local, regional and national performing acts with events spread out over two days and an economy-boosting crowd with visitors to the city from a variety of locations in the surrounding southeast region and beyond. 

After two years of pandemic-induced lockdown and virtual streaming events to keep the spirit of Charlotte Pride alive, the celebration has returned full force, live and in-person and expected to attract a crowd of over 200,000.

Thanks to the efforts of so many individuals throughout the city’s queer history, the presentation has evolved and changed in many amazing ways over the years. But one thing has remained a constant: this is your event. Charlotte’s LGBTQ Community and our sense of pride makes Charlotte Pride a celebration that has become world class.

Join the party and check out the list of fun to be had, skillfully curated by Pride organizers, which includes a parade, live performances, a vendor fare with goods for purchase, local non-profits, art exhibits, drag performers, a food court and more. 

Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade Schedule of Events, Saturday, August 20 – Sunday, August 21

PNC Bank Festival Zone
Saturday, Aug. 20, 12-10 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 21, 12-6 p.m.
S. Tryon Street, Uptown

Flourish: A Celebration of LGBTQ Arts & Culture

Saturday, Aug. 20, 1-5:30 p.m.
Bechtler Museum of Art, 420 S. Tryon St.

Free admission to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art as LGBTQ performing and fine arts groups serenade Pride attendees with their arts. Stay for spoken word artists, LGBTQ short films, and more. A cash bar benefitting the Bechtler Museum will be available in this air-conditioned space perfect for those needing a break from the heat.

Flourish Schedule

1 p.m. — Patrice
1:30 p.m. — One Voice Chorus
1:55 p.m. — Charlotte Pride Band
2:20 p.m. — Mo Pirela
2:50 p.m. — Short Film: In Nature
3 p.m. — Short Film: Resist
3:30 p.m. — Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte
4 p.m. — Women’s Chorus of Charlotte
4:30 p.m. — Short Film: When We Arrive As Flowers
4:40 p.m. — Short Film: Hotter Up Close
5 p.m. — Alphabet Soup from Charlotte Comedy Theater

VIP Experience, presented by McDonald’s

Saturday, Aug. 20, 12-8 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 21, 12-6 p.m.
Wells Fargo Plaza & Atrium, 301 S. Tryon St.

Enjoy the best of the Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade with exclusive access to VIP Lounge and VIP seating at the main stage and parade stage. Complimentary beverages and food

Youth & Family Zone, presented by Equitable

Saturday, Aug. 20, 12-6 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 21, 12-6 p.m.
The Green, 425 S. Tryon St.

Newly expanded in 2022. Presented by Equitable, supported by Microsoft and Time Out Youth. Join in on the fun on The Green for family-friendly entertainment and resources, including arts and crafts, community resources, a family care tent, and special speakers and entertainers, including Drag Queen Story Hour.

Please Note: The Youth & Family Zone is hosted on private property and is designed only for young people under the age of 21 and their family/parents/legal guardians. The Youth & Family Zone is a tobacco, drug and alcohol free zone, and any disruptive or harassing behavior is prohibited. Any visitor to the Youth & Family Zone may be asked to leave at any time at the sole discretion of Charlotte Pride.

Charlotte Pride Health Fair

Presented by Amity Medical Group and Avant Pharmarcy, Saturday, Aug. 20, 12-10 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 21, 12-6 p.m. at the PNC Bank Festival Zone. Visit the Charlotte Pride Health Fair to check-up on your personal health and wellness. Get an HIV test, visit with wellness vendors and more. Health Fair vendors include personal health, mental health, sexual health, veterans’ health, pregnant people’s health and HIV/STD health agencies.

Neighborhood Market

Saturday, Aug. 20, 12-10 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 21, 12-6 p.m.
Wells Fargo Plaza, 301 S. Tryon St.

Keep your dollars local! Support local artists, artisans, craftspeople, and makers! The Neighborhood Market is your place to support local artisans and adorn your home with unique, locally-, and handcrafted wares.

Performers at Pride

Charlotte Main Stage Entertainment Line-Up
Saturday, August 20

12:30 p.m. — Opening Ceremony
1 p.m. — Time Out Youth
1:35 p.m. — Ray Hartsfield & Anna Kimm
2 p.m. — Charlotte Pride Drag Revue Part One
2:50 p.m. — Nekeith
3:15 p.m. — Charlotte Pride Drag Revue Part Two
4:05 p.m. — DJ Bryson
4:50 p.m. — LP7
5:05 p.m. — Rehd
5:20 p.m. — Charlotte Pride Awards
6 p.m. — Malachi
6:35 p.m. — Galloway
7:15 p.m. — Johnae the Egyptian Goddess
7:30 p.m. — Kalifa
8:10 p.m. — Siena Liggins
8:45 p.m. — Daya

Sunday, August 21

1 p.m. — DJ Bryson
2:05 p.m. — Joe Ralli
2:30 p.m. — Bos
2:55 p.m. — Charlotte Black Pride Court
3:30 p.m. — For Atlas
3:55 p.m. — Dexter Jordan
4:20 p.m. — Yvie Oddly
4:50 p.m. — Angeria Paris VanMichaels
5:20 p.m. — Charlotte Pride Court

Charlotte Pride Community Stage
Presented by Truliant Federal Credit Union, operates continuously on Saturday, August 20, during the hours of 1-7 p.m., featuring stage DJ Ken Sings and DJ SPK. The Charlotte Pride Drag Pageant takes place 3:30-6 p.m.

Pride on Parade, Sunday, August 21 at 1 p.m.
Beginning at 1:00 p.m. and continuing to 4:00 p.m. is the Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade. Returning to uptown Charlotte after an absence of two years, this year there will be more than 170 participating entities, 10,00 marchers and more than 40 floats. The parade kicks off at 9th Street and Tryon and crosses over six city blocks, before making the turn at Third and Tryon and ending at College Street.

David Aaron Moore is a former editor of Qnotes, serving in the role from 2003 to 2007. He is currently the senior content editor and a regularly contributing writer for Qnotes. Moore is a native of North...