ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Blue Ridge Pride Festival will be held Oct. 2-18 at various places around town.

Kicking off the event is Miss Blue Ridge Pride Pageant on Oct. 2, 8 p.m., at the Altamont Theatre, 18 Church St.

The following day, head out to Pack Square in downtown Asheville’s Pack Square and take part in a marriage equality rally and celebration at 6 p.m. 

That evening comedian Jennie McNulty will bring her sass to the stage at 8 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel, 31 Woodfin St. Ticket cost is $20. Off the Wagon’s Dueling Pianos will open the evening’s show.

The main event, the 6th Annual Pride Festival, will take place on Oct. 4, 10 a.m., at Pack Square. Enjoy entertainment, food, beverages and a family-friendly atmosphere. The mechanical bull will be back in rare form. A full schedule of entertainers will be available at the end of September.

For those who want to keep the party going, four clubs will have special programming for Pride. Visit the website to learn more.

The celebration ends on Oct. 5 with worship services at a church of one’s choice. A list of welcoming and affirming congregations is available online at GayAsheville. 

A brunch at Edna’s Coffee House, 870 Merrimon Ave., at 10 a.m., complete with entertainment and camaraderie, closes out the festivities. Cost is $20/advance, $25/at the door.

All event tickets are available online.

VIP passes are available at three different levels: $45/silver, $60/gold and $100/platinum. Each gives the holder access to exclusive areas during the festival, including tickets to contests and performances.

Organizers are always in search of volunteers. Sign up online. : :


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.