CHARLOTTE — The Pride Charlotte Task Force has announced the date of its 2008 festival. Currently slated for July 26, 2008, the event’s date is a full month prior to its traditional August event.

The festival will take place 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Gateway Village at Trade and Cedar streets, across from Johnson & Wales University. With a goal of attracting 8,500 to 9,000 attendees to Uptown Charlotte, festival organizers hope to break last year’s record-setting attendance of 8,000.

“The Pride Charlotte festival is the one time each year the Charlotte-metro LGBT community gathers together for community-wide fun,” said Pride Charlotte Co-Chair Raine Cole.

The day-long festival will feature several entertainers, including Josh Zuckerman, Melissa Reaves, Ira Levi, Rodie Ray, Sugarbeach, The Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte and the Queen City Outlaws. Other community speakers and performers are planned and will be announced at a later date at

The event is the culmination of more than a week of Pride Charlotte events, including workshops, panels, performances and more. The Gateway Village festival grounds will include food and beverage vendors, community organizations, a family and children’s play area and a DJ tent.

Organizers are also continuing their search for individual, small business and corporate sponsorships. This is the first year organizers have attempted specifically courting individual and small business donors. More information on sponsorship opportunities are available on the festival’s website.

Pride Charlotte is a project of the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Community Center.