Charlotte Pride is celebrating another year of success and growth for their iconic annual Uptown event held Aug. 15-16. Initial crowd estimates peg attendance at 115,000-120,000 visitors over the course of the weekend; final attendance and other figures will be compiled in the next two weeks
The PNC Bank Festival Zone was extended one block this year, running the full length of S. Tryon St. from Trade St. to Stonewall St. Festival attractions included the Time Warner Cable VIP Lounge and two full days of entertainment on the Wells Fargo Stage, where headliners Estelle performed Saturday evening and Billy Gilman on Sunday. The Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade, held Sunday afternoon, included nearly 3,000 people in over 120 marching contingents.
“We’re pleased by our initial attendance estimates and excited to see how our final analysis shapes up,” said Richard Grimstad, Charlotte Pride co-director. “We’re also very proud of our staff and our hundreds of volunteers, without whom this weekend’s outstanding event would not have been possible. Their hard work and dedication this weekend and throughout the year’s planning process has allowed Charlotte Pride to grow year over year with continued, successful partnerships with the city, police, our corporate sponsors and community partners.”
Organizers say the weekend’s event ran smoothly from start to finish. The majority of festival tear-down on Sunday ended in record time, with street cleaning crews taking to Tryon St. around 8:30 p.m. and streets open to traffic around 10 p.m.
Charlotte Pride first moved its event to Uptown in 2011, attracting an estimated 27,000 visitors that year. In 2012, it’s event grew to two days, attracting more than 45,000 visitors just one week before the Democratic National Convention. In 2013, the Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade was added to the event’s second-day schedule, growing overall attendance to 80,000. Last year’s event attracted 100,000 visitors with an estimated $7.75 million in economic impact from out-of-town visitors according to a study commissioned by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
For more information on this year’s event, visit charlottepride.org. A full list of Charlotte Pride sponsors and partners can be found at charlottepride.org/sponsors/.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE PRIDE: Charlotte Pride works to celebrate and empower our local LGBTQ community and produces educational and social programming highlighting the social, cultural, ethnic, artistic and civil diversity of the Charlotte-metro region’s LGBTQ community, including the annual Charlotte Pride Festival & parade. It is one of the Southeast’s largest LGBTQ Pride organizations.