Pride Festival

Ashley hallenbeck/the carolinian

Ashley hallenbeck/the carolinian

Shannon Neu
  A&E Editor

The Greensboro Pride festival is returning this weekend, and guests can expect some exciting new changes.

This is the tenth anniversary for Greensboro Pride (formerly known as Triad Pride). To mark this milestone, the festival will be moved from its previous location at Festival Park to South Elm Street. The “Taking Greensboro Pride to the Streets” event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As always, guests can expect a wide variety of entertainment at this year’s festival. Performing artists will include bands, musical performances, female impersonators and a variety of other acts.

Performers at the Greensboro Pride festival will include the Triad Pride Men’s Chorus, last year’s Greensboro Idol winner Crystal Saunders and musician Roger Roach.

Robin S., an American singer and songwriter, will be a headline performer. Robin S. reached success in the early 1990s with singles including “Show Me Love” and “Luv 4 Luv.”

“Personally, I am most excited about moving the Greensboro Pride festival to South Elm Street,” said Paul Marshall, Board Chair of Greensboro Pride. “I believe the move to the new location shows PRIDE in the Greensboro LGBT Community. The location will be much more open than prior years.”

“I am also very happy that Robin S. has agreed to perform,” Marshall added.

“Other than the headliner, it is our goal to provide local entertainers a venue to perform,” Marshall continued. “In many cases, this is an opportunity for LGBT performers to exhibit their talents not only to the LGBT Community but to their supports, allies and the straight community.” All vendors are welcome if they support the LGBT Community.”

Exhibitors at this year’s Greensboro Pride celebration will include a wide variety of individuals, organizations and businesses, such as attorneys to help answer questions that may be specific to LGBT Community, regarding things such as estate planning and adoption. The Guilford County Health Department will do screening for STDs and HIV, and educate the community on sexual health. Insurance agents, artisans and an advocate group for the humane treatment of circus animals will also be exhibiting their businesses at the event. Additionally, a couple of animal rescue groups will be at Greensboro Pride, holding adoption fairs.

Of course, there will be a deliciously wide selection of food for sale at the festival.

Organizers of Greensboro Pride have worked passionately and determinedly to make this festival the best one yet.

“The planning of an event is no easy feat,” Marshall reflected. “We have been working nearly a year planning and coordinating and raising money for the event.  We have a group of directors who have worked tirelessly this year. It is also a big job finding sponsors and vendors. Sponsors and vendors provide about half of the revenue for the event.”

Marshall went on to mention the importance of the “Greensboro Special Events Department, the police department who will provide security, traffic and crowd control, Mayor Vaughan’s office and many, many others who will help in making the event a success.”

This event is important to the Greensboro community because it is a celebration of life, love, human rights and of course, pride. While pride festivals are fun experiences, they also serve as deeply meaningful declarations of personal acceptance as well as opportunities to congregate as a supportive community. Events such as Greensboro Pride have diverse, personal meanings for each person who attends. Greensboro Pride serves as a reminder of everything that has been done so far for gay rights and a motivator to keep working toward full equality. Pride festivals are inspiring, exciting events for those who attend.

“The Greensboro Pride Festival is a very inclusive event,” Marshall explained.  “All people are welcome- not just the LGBT Community, but also their children, and just as important are the allies and supporters of the Greensboro LGBT community.”

Greensboro Pride encourages students from UNCG and other Greensboro-area universities to attend the event.

“All people are to come celebrate with us no matter your sexual orientation, as long as you support the LGBT Community,” Marshall explained. “I can promise everyone will have a good time. We would love to have lots of students from the area universities.”

With everything that is in store for this year’s festival, Greensboro Pride continues to keep the momentum of equality going strong.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Upcoming A&E Events, Visual & Performance

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