Charlotte Pride, a local non-profit organization which creates programs and activities to enrich, empower, strengthen and make visible the unique lives and experiences of LGBTQ people in Charlotte and the Carolinas, will hold its annual Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade in Uptown Charlotte on Saturday, Aug. 26 and Sunday, Aug. 27.
The annual event is the largest LGBTQ Pride event in the Carolinas and between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. In 2016, the event attracted over 130,000 visitors over the course of the weekend. Over the past two years, the event has contributed more than $19 million in economic impact from out-of-town visitors to Charlotte, including $11.5 million in direct visitor spending, and $699,000 in Mecklenburg County taxes raised by visitor spending, according to a 2015 economic impact report conducted by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
The event includes a two-day street festival on S. Tryon St. with over local, regional and national vendors, including a diverse array of community non-profits, in the PNC Bank Festival Zone.
The Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade will be held on Sunday, Aug. 26, 1-3 p.m. on N. Tryon St.
Each day of the festival, entertainers will take to the Wells Fargo Stage for a thrilling line-up of entertainment, including headliner Deborah Cox.
Deborah Cox is a Grammy Award nominated, multi-platinum R & B/Pop recording artist and actress is currently blowing the roof off theaters starring in the Rachel Maron role originally played by Whitney Houston in the new musical “The Bodyguard.” Deborah Cox is widely known for her double-platinum “Nobody’s Supposed to be Here,” which held the record for the longest running #1 R & B single. After 14 weeks at the top of the charts, Deborah Cox earned a Billboard Music Award nomination for R & B Single of the Year, an NAACP Image Award nomination, A Soul Train Award, A Lady of Soul Award and 3 Juno Awards including a Best Female Vocalist Juno nomination.
Other entertainers will include LOS 5, Keke Wyatt, Cazwell, Katastrophe, RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Kennedy Davenport, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Eureka, Alexis Michelle and Shangela, along with local Charlotte-based band Blame The Youth. A new comedy hour, PRIDE LOL, will feature comedians Sandra Valls, Matteo Lane and Sam Jay.
New this year, the festival’s Charlotte Pride VIP Experience will feature a new, indoor and air-conditioned VIP lounge, with complimentary beverages and catered treats. VIP passes are currently on sale at charlottepride.org/vip/.
Full entertainer bios, as well as a festival and parade map and other event details are available online at charlottepride.org.
A full list of community events slated for Charlotte Pride Week, Aug. 18-27, including educational events, the annual Charlotte Pride Interfaith Service, the annual Charlotte LGBTQ Community Candidate Forum, nightlife events and more, is available at charlottepride.org/calendar/.
Details on upcoming press conferences, other media events, and festival weekend media availability will be released soon. For the most up-to-date information on the event, street closures, other logistics and latest releases, visit the Charlotte Pride Media Center at charlottepride.org/media/.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE PRIDE: Charlotte Pride is the leader in LGBTQ visibility in Charlotte and the Carolinas. We present and collaborate on programs, projects, and activities, including the annual Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade, Trans Pride, Latin Pride, and Reel Out Charlotte, formerly known as the GayCharlotte Film Festival, among others. Since its founding in 2000, Charlotte Pride has expanded its year-round programming and partnerships to better connect community members with its mission, vision, and values. It is now one of the largest LGBTQ Pride organizations in the American Southeast.