by Clark Simon (he/him) Charlotte Pride President
The days are counting down and the Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade is just around the corner. After a two-year pandemic hiatus, we’re committed now more than ever to keeping you and our entire community safe, healthy, and well.
Here’s how Charlotte Pride is planning on keeping you safe and how we can all pitch in together to ensure a safe, celebratory event for all on Aug. 20-21:
Keeping Yourself and Your Friends Safe and Well
Ensuring a safe event is a responsibility we all share! Here are some simple tips and
- Stay Hydrated: The single-most common calls we have for medical assistance each year are people who are experiencing dehydration or heat exhaustion. When you visit our event, be sure to stay hydrated. Drink lots of water, wear sunscreen, and take breaks in the shade.
- Use the Buddy System: When you visit our event, be sure to bring your friends or family. The event is best experienced in a group, and when you have friends or family with you they can keep watch over you and you them!
- “See Something, Say Something”: If you see something suspicious or out of place, immediately say something to the nearest law enforcement officer or event staffer.
- Know Your Surroundings: As with any large-scale event, be aware of your surroundings. Keep track of your friends and family. Identify exit areas. Be mindful.
Charlotte Pride’s Public Safety Preparations
Charlotte Pride’s board, staff, and event volunteers have your safety and wellness as our top priority.
- Our Team is Trained: Charlotte Pride event staff undergo intensive first-aid and emergency preparedness training.
- We Have a Plan: The Charlotte Pride Board of Directors, staff, and event staff have a plan for crisis and emergency preparedness.
- Charlotte Pride Coordinates with Public Safety Agencies: Charlotte Pride has met with and coordinated our crisis and emergency plans with all local public safety agencies.
- Local Public Safety Agencies are Prepared: Charlotte Pride is confident in our trust of local public safety agencies and their plans to keep our event safe and celebratory.
- We are following CDC and local health guidelines: At this time, masks are not required for outdoor events. We will have masks and hand sanitizer available in the festival zone for those who need these precautions.
- We will change our plans if necessary: If CDC or local health guidelines change, we immediately change our precautions to come into line with those guidelines.
Charlotte Pride is in regular communication with Mecklenburg Public Health, which will be present at the festival and parade to provide prevention and awareness materials regarding monkeypox.
- We are following CDC and local health guidelines: Attending the Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade will not put you at an increased risk of contracting monkeypox.
- Monkeypox is NOT a “gay disease”: Monkeypox is spread by close skin-to-skin contact. Though it is true that most documented transmissions have occurred in the LGBTQ community, this viral infection can be spread to any person. Like all viruses, monkeypox knows no race, color, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.
- Monkeypox is spread by close, personal, and skin-to-skin contact: Including direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or bodily fluids, as well as touching objects, including fabrics (clothing, bedding, towels, etc.) that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
Contact with monkeypox can occur during:
- Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals of a person with monkeypox
- Hugging, massage, and kissing
- Prolonged face-to-face contact
- Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys
The symptoms of monkeypox:
- Rash, flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion
- You may experience all or only a few of these symptoms
- Most people with monkeypox will get a rash
- The rash may be located on or near the genital area, the face or other parts of your body exposed to skin-to-skin contact or any parts of your body exposed to contact with other people’s bodily fluids
Stay up to date on our latest safety and health precautions at charlottepride.org/safety.