COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Pride 2011 will take place on Sept. 3 in Finlay Park, 920 Laurel St.

Kicking off the day’s festivities will be a parade, sponsored by WXRY 99.3 FM, which starts and ends at the park. Live commentary will be broadcast and will be hosted by Miss SC Pride 2006 Patti O’Furniture and Larry Hembre, executive director of Nickelodeon Theatre (pictured from last year’s festivities). Following the tour of downtown, attendees will be able to enjoy live entertainment, as well as stops along the way to visit stores, organizations and more in the vendor area.

Headliners include Alexis Mateo, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season three Puerto Rican bombshell; Amber, a worldwide smash hit singer who hails from Europe; Kristy Lee, an Alabaman acoustical musician; and Martha Wash, a powerhouse vocalist and club legend.

The event is a project of The Harriet Hancock Community Center.

On Aug. 20, the Miss and Mr. South Carolina Pride Pageant is being held at Workshop Theatre, 1136 Bull St. VIP tickets are $30 and general admission is $25. Included is an open bar, food and reserved seating.

During the week leading up to the festival, an art show, Saint Sebastian: From Martyr to Gay Starlet, will be held on Sept. 1, 6-9 p.m., at Friday Cottage Artspace, 1830 Henderson St. Enjoy a night of art, performance, poetry and film, along with a cash bar and DJ. Admission is $15 advance/$20 at the door. A souvenir book of art and poetry comes with ticket purchase. Read our feature on the exhibit…

Hotel reservations may be made through the Columbia Marriott, 1200 Hampton St. which serves as host. Rates are $99 per night.

For parade applications (due by Aug. 26) or more information, visit : :


Lainey Millen

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.