Pride events in the Carolinas kick off in Durham the last week of May and continue throughout the Carolinas during spring, summer and fall.
There’s a lot to do in the larger cities and in some of the small towns. However, the COVID-19 Pandemic has and continues to affect most Pride celebrations, just as it has daily living around the globe.
In our compilation, you’ll find a mix of events that are in-person, and virtual.
A few celebrations are attempting to recapture the excitement of large crowds, outdoor events with stage shows, vendor markets and parades, though they are in the minority.
We’ve tried to be as thorough as possible with this list, but please keep in mind that events everywhere continue to be impacted by the global pandemic. Some Pride celebrations may be smaller than in years before and some may not happen at all. We have tried to list something about every event that we were able to find. If you are a Pride celebration in the Carolinas and you don’t see yours listed here, or you would like to update some details, feel free to contact us so we can add it to the online version of the story.
May 30 – June 6
According to press info from Pride Durham’s social media sites, many of their Pride activities will be virtual. On May 30, they will kick off their Pride celebration with the online event Rocky Horror Movie Night (7 p.m.-10 p.m.) for those 16 and older. The following day, Pride fans can start their week with two additional virtual happenings. A Pride Flag Raising event will be live-streamed on Facebook on Monday, May 31 and later that evening participants can turn to their phones, tablets or laptops to wind down with some Pride + Peace Yoga at 7 p.m. For those missing in-person Pride events, there will be a Kick-Off Party at Club 717 (officially The Durham Alliance Association Social Club-DAASC) on Friday, June 4. With a variety of virtual events continuing throughout the weekend, Pride Durham will wrap June 6. For more information, visit facebook.com/pridedurham.
The one and only Utica Queen (of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame) headlines this South Carolina Pride celebration, to be held at The Vista (1200 block of Park Street, near the intersection of US 378-Gervais Rd.). Be prepared for the zaniness you’ve come to know from this drag diva. Co-hosts Paris LeFaris and Carla Cox headline a full day of Pride festivities along with music grooves by DJ*EZ, live performances by Fendi Moore, Oliver Clothesoff, Don Javi, Leslie Lain, Fendi Moore, Cierra Nichole and more. The Outfest Drag Pageant will continue throughout the day with competition categories in presentation, evening gown, talent and response to onstage questions. The theme is “Be the Rainbow.” For directions, hotel special rates, COVID precautions and more, visit scpride.org.
Chatham County Pride Virtual Film Screening
The Chatham Community Library will host daily virtual screenings of the documentary “Deep Run.” Released in 2015, the film explores the life of a transgender man living in Lenoir County, N.C. The library wanted to focus on small, local areas; demonstrating that LGBTQ people can come from anywhere and should be afforded the same level of respect as any non-LGBTQ individual. The subject of “Deep Run,” Cole Ray Davis, struggles to come out as a lesbian and then later to come out as a transgender man over the course of the film. The Hollywood Reporter review of the documentary offers this summary:
The threat of being outed at church, where the pastor believes Cole is a nice respectable young man, is especially trying, as the two take their faith very seriously and have little trouble maintaining an inclusive vision of Christianity, despite what they’ve been taught.
The Chatham County Library is encouraging post-screening feedback from all participants. This survey will allow attendees to make suggestions for future Pride Month programs, as well as the implementation of more LGBTQ-inclusionary resources. The film screening will be open to anyone, regardless of county of residence, but does require a password. To request access or inquire about any specifics, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black Pride Week: Upstate SC
According to Upstate Black Pride’s website, the weeklong event is an opportunity for marginalized people to enjoy a celebration for the entire community. Events scheduled include a Meet & Greet, Wine Tasting, Pageant, Trans Fashion Show, and multiple After Parties galore. Get your grass skirt ready for a Pride Luau on June 27. The Main Event for the week is the Black Pride Festival, slated for Saturday, June 26 in Falls Park, Downtown Greenville. For more info on Black Pride Week: Upstate SC, visit upstatepridesc.org/black-pride.
Charlotte Black Pride
The vision of Charlotte Black Pride (CBP) is to empower the hearts, minds and spirits of all LGBTQIA people, while embracing diversity, uplifting the community and working to bring social change. They’ve been working toward these goals for 16 years and are back this year with in-person events and a week’s worth of Pride activities. CBP will kick off the week’s events with their Mr. & Ms. CBP Pageant at Chasers with all the glam and fanfare pride pageants are known for. Later in the week, their annual CBP Town Hall Meeting (Wednesday, June 14) community members will have a chance to discuss and address pertinent LGBT BIPOC issues at the Midwood International Center, where the CBP Expo will take place on Saturday, July 17. This year’s expo will be a slightly scaled-down version because organizers are continuing to work with COVID-19 precautions. Fear not, however, the Expo will still host vendors, community organizations and riveting entertainment. For those still feeling a little iffy about in-person attendance, all events will also be live-streamed. CBP has announced an exciting, culminating event is in the works: the CBP Skyline Brunch, which is planned to be held on the rooftop of a Charlotte Center City High-Rise. For more information visit their website at charlotteblackpride.org or their Facebook page at facebook.com/CLTBlackPride.
Aug. 21-Nov. 23
Those dates initially read like an announcement for the longest Pride celebration event in history, but that’s not exactly the case. In a press release from Charlotte Pride, Communications Director Matt Comer explains what’s going on, “Charlotte Pride Season event plans are flexible and elastic, and they can be scaled up or scaled back depending on health and safety benchmarks. Organizers have taken the pieces of a normal festival, parade and Pride Week, and expanded them into a series of unique events and activities that balance a collective desire to return to normal with a clear need and responsibility to ensure the safety, health and well-being of the entire community.”
Here is a run-down on what’s in the works for a Charlotte’s Pride Fall:
Charlotte Pride Weekend of Service
Kicking off Charlotte Pride Season with a community-wide opportunity to give back. Volunteer and service opportunities throughout Charlotte being on what would have been the 2021 festival and parade dates.
Charlotte Pride Interfaith Service
Charlotte Pride’s traditional Interfaith Service, this year hosted in a new location with expanded opportunities for fellowship.
Pride Night: A Charlotte Pride Concert Event
Slated to be a day-long concert event featuring local, regional and national LGBTQ artists and entertainers.
Charlotte Pride’s Pop-Up Pride Festival
A truly unique, truly local celebration of Pride in the Queen City, the Pop-Up Pride Festival will feature special zones and activities throughout Uptown, providing a familiar festival feel while avoiding the full crowds that normally attend the festival.
Charlotte Pride Parade
Charlotte Pride plans to host a normal, in-person parade in October. A final date will be announced soon.
Reel Out Charlotte
The Queen City’s Annual LGBTQ Film Festival returns to Camp North End for a weekend of LGBTQ short and feature films.
Charlotte Pride Community Empowerment Conference and Community Job Fair
An expansion of the 2019 Charlotte Trans Pride Job Fair, this one-day event will bring together educational and community-building workings with a job fair expo for all those seeking new work and exploring career potential. For additional information visit charlottepride.org/pride2021.
Nags Head, N.C.
Outer Banks PrideFest is planned for this fall, currently slated for Sept. 10-12. This year marks OBX PrideFest’s 10th Anniversary and the only reason the organization’s website mentions possible cancellation is a hurricane or a rise in widespread COVID-19 rates. The main portion of the festival will likely be on a Saturday afternoon (as always, from 1:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.) and host concerts, merchant vendors, restaurant vendors, microbrews and craft and nonprofit vendors at the Creef/Davis town park on the historic waterfront in Manteo, N.C. It is truly one of the most scenic places one could be for a PrideFest. This year, OBX PrideFest is not offering Pride Passes for their paid events, so they are encouraging participants to purchase tickets in advance through their website at obxpridefest.com.
Blue Ridge Pride
If you enjoy Asheville, you’ll love Blue Ridge Pride. Blue Ridge Pride is back, outside and proud. After over a year of pandemic isolation, Blue Ridge Pride organizers are excitedly planning many 2021 pride events, including their Sept. 19, Pride Pageant (open to all forms of Drag Entertainment) and their Festival and Welcoming WNC Procession on Saturday, Sept. 25. They call it a procession because there are no floats or grand marshals. It’s a walking only event and it starts Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. The festival will begin shortly after at 11:00 a.m. Festival activities will conclude that evening at 7 p.m., giving pride goers plenty of time to browse, shop and connect with friends and various LGBTQ groups.
In case you are interested, there’s still plenty of time to get involved with Blue Ridge Pride activities. You can join the procession, volunteer, vend, participate as an entertainer or provide community education with information tables from local organizations, groups and businesses. Registration is now open for just about any way you’d like to become involved. All the information you could ask for is accessible on their website at blueridgepride.org.
Myrtle Beach Pride
Thinking about heading to Myrtle Beach for Pride? Friday, Oct. 1, is the kick off for Myrtle Beach Pride at the Main Street Theater in Conway, S.C. We’ve heard they are in talks with a well-known national entertainer. Then on Saturday, Oct. from 12-7 p.m. head outdoors for the Pride in the Park festival at Grand Park. The shindig features live music, entertainment, food trucks and retail vendors. Finally, close things out after dark with a Pride Celebration Party at Pulse Ultra Club. Find more info about other upcoming fundraising events on Pride Myrtle Beach’s Facebook page at facebook.com/pridemyrtlebeach.
Oct. 2 and Oct. 15-16
Events begin with a special Trans Pride event on Saturday, Oct. 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Washington Square Park. Two weeks later get ready for the annual Pride Winston-Salem Pride weekend, Friday, Oct. 15 to Saturday, Oct. 16. The fun gets started with the annual Pride Parade at 11 a.m. on Fourth Street in the Downtown Arts District. And don’t worry about missing brunch that day! The Pride Festival and Food Truck Rodeo runs just about all day from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. so march your hungry self down to Trade St. for plenty of delicious delicacies from your fave food truck. More details at pridews.org.
Famously Hot South Carolina Pride
Columbia is showing their Pride twice this year, it would seem, with The SC Pride Parade and Festival weekend, hot on the heels of Outfest on June 5. Presented by Famously Hot South Carolina Pride, the annual statewide-welcoming celebration includes the SC Pride Parade on Friday, Oct. 22, followed by the SC Pride Festival on Saturday, Oct. 23. Planning is still underway, but more info about the South Carolina Pride celebration (and OUTfest) is available at scpride.org.
While there is limited information listed on the website, organizers tout there will be no shortage of Drag Artists, Performers, Food Trucks, Walking Tours, a Pride Parade and a closing party at this year’s Charleston Pride Festival. For more info visit charlestonpride.org.
Hendersonville Pride is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 21 and will reportedly feature a formal proclamation from the Mayor of Hendersonville, the famed Pride Picnic and other events TBA. For updates, check hendersonvillepride.org.
For 2021, the Salisbury Pride theme is “Together We Can.” While the date for Salisbury Pride has purportedly been confirmed, organizers have not officially released a statement about the event, nor have they confirmed if it will be in-person or virtual. Visit their website for updated information at salisburypride.org.
Port City Pride
Unspecified September Date
We’re hoping Port City Pride’s festivities in Wilmington will return to Castle St. this year. Who can forget the Pride Bar Crawl or the Fantail Dance Party of 2019? It’s normally held on or about Labor Day Weekend. As of this time, specific events/dates/times have not been confirmed.
Eastern North Carolina Pride (ENC Pride)
Unspecified October Date
According to ENC Pride’s website, the board of directors decided to postpone the ENC Pride festival, originally scheduled for June 20, because of COVID-19 and concern for the safety of attendees, so disregard the countdown clock on the organization’s webpage and read their updated information carefully.
In lieu of hosting a festival, the ENC Pride board hosted a smaller event, ENC Pride’s Miss Gay America Show on Sunday, May 16 at The Heritage Bar in Kinston. Currently, they have unspecified plans to host the ENC Pride festival in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day. Going forward, ENC Pride’s festival will be in October instead of June.
Unspecified October Date
Original spring event canceled because of COVID-19 pandemic. Although no details are currently available, the organization is considering holding their Pride event during October in conjunction with National Coming Out Day. Check with their website at alamancepride.org for potential updates.
No Known Events Until Further Notice
Out Raleigh Pride
Purported reboot in 2022.
Fayetteville Black Pride
No current updates.
No current updates.
Catawba Valley Pride
No confirmed updates; purported plans for this fall.
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