More than 165,000 people are expected to congregate in Uptown this weekend to celebrate Charlotte Pride.
The two-day festival along Tryon Street features nearly 200 vendors, nonprofits, small businesses and food stands along with more than 18 hours of programmed live entertainment on two stages. The main event, Sunday’s Pride Parade, is the largest parade in the city composed of 41 floats and more than 7,000 marchers.
In addition to official Pride festivities, the weekend will be packed with and entertainment in celebration of Charlotte’s LGBTQ community. Here’s a thorough guide to all the happenings in town.
Festival & Parade
The two-day Charlotte Pride Festival takes place Saturday, Aug. 17 (noon to 10 p.m.) and Sunday, Aug. 18 (noon to 6 p.m.) along Tryon Street from Stonewall to Trade.
The festival features vendors, beverage stations, a food court and two stages with live entertainment. For full entertainment schedules and the most up to date information, download the new Charlotte Pride app.
New additions to this year’s festival lineup include:
- Charlotte Pride Health Fair – A consolidated section for healthcare providers, including local HIV service organizations, reproductive healthcare groups and advocacy groups and transgender healthcare providers.
- Charlotte Pride Neighborhood Market – A space for smaller independent vendors selling crafts and artisan goods.
- Flourish: A Celebration of LGBTQ Arts + Culture – A mini arts festival at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art showcasing local LGBTQ choral and other musical groups, dancers, theatre, spoken word, visual art and more.
More than 18 hours of live entertainment are scheduled across two stages at the festival.
“We’ve taken a more and more intentional focus on ensuring we book artists and entertainers who are LGBTQ,” says Charlotte Pride communications director Matt Comer, “a task becoming increasingly easier as LGBTQ become more accepted and affirmed within the entertainment industry.”
Stage highlights include:
- Opening Ceremony – Saturday, Aug. 17 at 12:30 p.m.
- Betty Who – Headlining Saturday, Aug. 17 at 9 p.m.
- Parade Awards – Sunday, Aug. 18 at 5 p.m.
The Charlotte Pride Parade, the largest parade in the city, takes place Sunday, Aug. 18 from 1-3 p.m. The parade route travels along North Tryon Street from Ninth Street to Trade Street.
This year’s grand marshals are Charlotte Black Pride, a local nonprofit organization that promotes a positive image of LGBTQ people of color, and Judge John S. Arrowood, the first openly LGBTQ person to win a statewide race in the South when he won his race to remain on the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 2018.
Pour Pride at Pour Taproom – Thursday, Aug. 15, 6-11 p.m. Free. – They’ll have Pride music bingo along with drag performances by Tricia Lust, Shania Satisfaction and Onya Mann. Shimmer Down will be on site for glitter application and Brushed will have a pop-up curl/style station.
Charlotte Pride Women’s Takeover at Taproom Social – Friday, Aug. 16, 8 p.m. to midnight. Free. – The party features drink specials, raffle prizes and a free gift bag for the first 150 attendees.
Queen City Legends of Pride at Rooftop 210 – Friday, Aug. 16, 8:30-10:30 p.m. $15-$75. – Buff Faye hosts a live DJ dance party featuring gogo boys and former Miss Charlotte Pride drag queens. Tickets.
PrideFest at Ink N Ivy – Friday, Aug. 16 and Saturday, Aug. 17, 9 p.m. to midnight. $25-$500. – The party features entertainment from special guest Rupaul’s Drag Race’s Nina West on Friday and Jaidynn Dior Fierce on Saturday along with a cast of performers. Ticket includes one signature cocktail. Meet and greet access with the cast available. Tickets for Friday and Saturday.
Neon 90s Drag Show at World of Beer – Friday, Aug. 16, 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. $5 cover. – Featuring Skylar Michelle-Monet, Ashley Jordan, Tia Douglas, Breonna Tenae, Angela Lopez and Jayla Serena-Mitchell along with Absolut specialty cocktails.
Stonewall Birthday Pride Dance Party – Friday, Aug. 16, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. $20. – Stonewall Sports celebrates its 5th birthday and honors the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising with a special dance party hosted by Arron Malachi. Tickets.
5 Points Realty’s Pride Mimosa Party – Saturday, Aug. 17, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – The ninth annual party is at a new venue (1831 Rozelle’s Ferry Road) and features music and mimosas. No parking available; drop off only.
Flourish: A Celebration of LGBTQ Arts and Culture at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art – Saturday, Aug. 17, 1-5 p.m. Free. – The mini arts festival showcases local LGBTQ choral and other musical groups, dancers, theatre, spoken word, visual art and more.
Charlotte Pride Creep Show After Party at Chasers – Saturday, Aug. 17, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. $10. – Starring Abhora of Dragula Season 2.
Brewer’s at 4001 Yancey’s Pride Parade Pregame – Sunday, Aug. 18, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Free. – They’re opening early with brunch specials, a photo booth and accessories bar stocked with stickers, tattoos, bracelets, flags and more for the parade. A portion of sales from Victory’s Summer Love (is Love is Love) will benefit PFLAG Charlotte.
Queens Who Brunch Drag Brunch at Ink N Ivy – Sunday, Aug. 18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $35-$430. – Admission includes a Vanity House Queens drag show hosted by Jaidynn Dior Fierce of Rupaul’s Drag Race and brunch. Tickets.
Pride After Party at NoDa Company Store – Sunday, Aug. 18, 1-8 p.m. – The NoDa Co. team will have a float in the parade and then return to the store to celebrate.
Suds and Studs Wet’n Wild Party at The Bar at 316 – Sunday, Aug. 18. 2-8 p.m. Free. – They’ll have a 65-foot water slide, foam dance pit, bounce house and music by DJ J-Oh!
Lyft’s Two is Too Few Donation Party at Nuvolé Rooftop TwentyTwo – Sunday, Aug. 25, 2-6 p.m. Free entry with a donation of two clothing items. – The week after Charlotte Pride festivities wrap, Lyft continues the celebration with a donation party benefitting Transcend Charlotte’s Transcloset, a free clothing service for trans-identified individuals and anyone struggling with issues related to gender expression. Entry includes two free cocktails, light bites and a drag show. The first 100 attendees will receive a free one-year HRC membership. RSVP.
Mint Museum Charlotte Pride Weekend – Friday, Aug. 16 2 p.m. to Sunday, Aug. 18 5 p.m. Free. – To show support for Charlotte Pride, both Mint Museum locations will be free to explore this weekend.
Free Pride Yoga at CorePower Yoga Midtown – Thursday, Aug. 15, 5:30 p.m. Free. – Celebrate Pride with a free all-levels class with Hannah.
- NoDa Company Store – Rainbow NoDa Tees available in store
- Glory Days Apparel – Official Queen City rainbow tee in partnership with Charlotte Pride
- 704 Shop – Rainbow 704 and CLT tees
- Piper Fox Co. – Limited release rainbow “Kindness” and skyline tees
- White Rabbit – Charlotte’s No. 1 destination for LGBTQ Pridewear
Food & Drink
Yafo’s Rainbow Grain Bowl – They added spirulina, a blue-green algae, to create naturally colored blue hummus so you can build your own rainbow bowl.
Merchant & Trade’s Queen of Hearts – The specialty cocktail is made with a mix of Deep Eddy lemon, cranberry and grapefruit vodkas with fresh lime juice, blueberry syrup and pepperberry syrup topped with Blushing Belle foam and rainbow sprinkles.
For the most up-to-date schedule and event information, download the Charlotte Pride app.
This story is proudly presented by Lyft. The editorial selection is not influenced or endorsed by this sponsor.