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'More important than ever' | Charlotte Pride celebrates 20th anniversary with festival and parade

On Flashpoint, the President of Charlotte Pride explains how the celebration remains more relevant than ever.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Pride returns this weekend after a two-year hiatus, and organizers say its message of diversity and acceptance for the LGBTQ community has never resonated more.

"We 100% need it... it's important to never stop fighting for equal rights," Clark Simon, President of Charlotte Pride, said.

RELATED: Pride creates 'unique opportunity' for businesses to showcase Charlotte's hospitality

Recent rulings from the US Supreme Court, including the reversal of federal abortion rights, have led some in the LGBTQ+ community to worry about federal protections.

"I think it's more important than ever to reaffirm the majority of Americans' opinions that gay marriage should be legal, it is legal," Simon said. 

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The message seems to resonate with folks around Charlotte.  Before the pandemic, the last Charlotte Pride was attended by 200,000 people, according to organizers.

"For scale, that is approximately two and a half Bank of America stadiums filled with people. So this year, we're hoping to reach maybe four Bank of America stadiums filled with people," Simon said.

PREVIOUSLY: Charlotte Pride festival performers announced

This is their first event since 2019. The Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade are hosted in Uptown on Saturday, Aug. 20 from noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 21 from noon to 6 p.m. It all happens on S. Tryon Street.

The parade is on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 1 to 4 p.m., on N. Tryon St. There will be nearly 200 vendors in the festival and 200 entrants in the parade, including 50 floats, and approx. 10,000 marchers participating.


Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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