CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nearly 1,600 LGBT and straight ally North Carolinians are slated to attend this year’s Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala on Saturday. They’ll be treated to a five-star event at the Charlotte Convention Center, where Tony and Emmy Award winner Mandy Patinkin of Showtime’s “Homeland” will be the keynote speaker.

The event, co-chaired by Ann Hopper, Zuni Johnson, Jason McCraw and Connie Vetter, will also award Asheville’s Campaign for Southern Equality and North Carolina NAACP President, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II.

Alex Newell, who plays the character Wade “Unique” Adams on FOX’s “GLEE,” will perform. Be sure to check out our Feb. 15 print edition’s cover story interview with Newell.

In addition to the dinner, several other related events are planned this weekend, including: a Takeover Friday event at the Westin Hotel with a cash bar on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m., free; FrontRunners FunRun beginning at the Westin’s lobby, on Feb. 23, 7 9 a.m., free; Charlotte Pride Band Concert at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Rd., on Feb. 23, 2:30 p.m., $13; after parties at local bars and clubs beginning on Feb. 23 at 10 p.m.; a Recovery Brunch at Vivace, 1100 Metropolitan Ave., on Feb. 24 at noon; and a Closing Tea Dance at Cathode Azure, 1820 South Blvd., on Feb. 24 at 3 p.m., cash bar, free.

qnotes is a sponsor of this year’s gala.

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Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.