Your Guide To Fall Pride Festivals in Virginia

by Monica Mitchell | Posted: Sep 2, 2017 | Updated: Oct 19, 2017

Comments: 1 Comment

Virginia Pride Brown's Island

Virginia’s Pride season is in full swing and we have even more festivals for you to mark your calendars! Not only are these events packed with food, music, and entertainment to fill your day, but their host cities are also bustling with more to pack in for a fun-filled weekend. Four of Virginia’s pride festivals are coming up and we’ve asked their directors to give us the scoop. And, visit Virgnia.org/LGBT to plan your trip.

 

– Charlottesville Pride –

Charlottesville Pride Stage

When   September 16, 2017, 11:00am – 7:00pm

Where  Sprint Pavilion on the Downtown Mall

How long has your Pride event been taking place?

This is our 6th annual Pride Festival – the first was in 2012.

How would you characterize your locality and your Pride event?

Our Pride has been dubbed “the unicorn Pride” by other Pride boards – because we are indeed unique. While most pride leadership in Virginia is male, our board is mostly female, our president is a lesbian, and our festival is super family-friendly. We have a whole Spirit Grove of religious organizations as vendors. And we have a ton of straight allies, a very racially diverse crowd, and a lot of youth and trans youth from throughout the region. People who come to our pride talk about feeling so welcome, affirmed, uplifted, and happy the experience it. My son’s baseball coach said, “The Cville Pride festival is the one day a year when Charlottesville lives up to everything it purports to be.” In other words – it feels super safe and friendly to everyone.

Tell us more!

This free, family-friendly event offers people throughout Central VA and beyond the chance to celebrate and experience the diversity and vibrancy of the local LGBTQ community. There’s something for everyone: a children’s area, with a giant moon bounce, games, face-painting, balloons, and more; a beer and wine garden and food trucks; over 50 vendors representing businesses and organizations with resources, special offers, and interactive activities; Pride merchandise; music, dance, and drag entertainment all day long. The high-energy party features a DJ dance party, a hip-hop showcase, singer-songwriters and break-dancers, rock bands, and several drag shows, headlined by Miss Symone Bishop, Miss South Carolina Pride.

The C’ville Pride Festival ends a full week of Pride Events – there’s something for everyone! See the full list of events and details about the festival at cvillepride.org.

What entertainment is featured at your Pride?

The entertainment this year is directed by Dreama Belle, our entertainment director. A local radio favorite, Remy St. Clair, is our music director. They are co-hosting the festival and bringing together an amazing variety show with a diverse selection of talent that represents LGBTQ artists of every kind.

  • Drag headliners include: Symone Bishop, Miss South Carolina Pride; Chicki Parm, Cherry Poppins, Bert Darling, Bunny Nicole
  • Local live music bands will rock it out: Butterfly Vendetta, Jaewar & VibeRiot, Harli & House of Juniper, Equally Opposite, more singer-songwriters and the C’ville Women’s Choir
  • Hip Hop Showcase: Beautiful singing from Not3z, Nay Nichelle, and breakdancing battles from The Hooligans. This is an interactive show with giveaways, lip sync battles, and a DJ dance party…

What are your top / favorite experiences to share with Pride-goers?

Our festival will be held, for the first time, at the Sprint Pavilion on the downtown mall, which features art galleries, shopping, and restaurants galore! Numerous discounts and specials will be available by these merchants for people wearing festival wristbands.

 For more festival info, visit CvillePride.org/2017-cville-pride-festival

 

Petersburg Out & Proud

Petersburg Pride

When     Sunday, September 12, 2017, 12 – 10 p.m. ï Family Friendly Fun From Noon – 6 ï 21& Up 6pm – 10pm

Where   309 N Sycamore St, Petersburg, Virginia 23803, in Historic Downtown Petersburg

How long has your Pride event been taking place?

This is Petersburg’s first Pride event/ festival, created and hosted by Petersburg Out and Proud

How would you characterize your locality and your Pride event?

We’ll be having a day-long celebration of Petersburg’s diversity and LGBT locals and visitors. We’ll feature local food, including Wabi-Sabi | Rajun Cajun | Freda Mae’s | Local Vibe Café; music, kids activities, and more. We’ll also be hosting a few partners who provide awareness, education and support for the Petersburg LGBT community.

What entertainment is featured at your Pride?

We’ll be featuring many live performances, such as Sayer McShane & RVA Men’s & Women’s Chorus, Drag Show Featuring Jennifer Warner, Victoria C. Snow, & a special presentation about Nationz by Zakia, Drag For Your Life Amature Drag & Professional Drag and 00 DJ Jammin’ Jimmy After Party (21 & Up)

For more festival info, visit Facebook.com/PetersburgOut

What are your top / favorite experiences to share with Pride-goers?

Stay –  The Destiny Inn B&B, The Ragland Mansion Bed and Breakfast, South Forty RV Resort and Campground

Eat – Wabi-Sabi, Rajun Cajun, Freda Mae’s, Local Vibe Café

Shop – Old Towne Petersburg

Arts –  Friday for the Arts, The Ward Center for Contemporary Art, Beacon Theatre,

Outdoors – Dogwood Trace Golf Course,  Pocahontas State Park, Virginia Skydiving Center,  Lower Appomattox River

 

– Virginia PrideFest –

Virginia Pride Fest Brown's Island

When     September 23, 2017, 12 – 8 p.m.

Where   Brown’s Island in Downtown Richmond

How long has your Pride event been taking place?

2017 marks the 38th year of pride festivals in Richmond.  This will be the fourth year of Pridefest on Brown’s Island, the premier outdoor festival venue in the Richmond region.

How would you characterize your locality and your Pride event?

Richmond has come a long way in recent years in embracing and celebrating the LGBTQ community.  We have a successful campaign through Richmond Region Tourism called OutRVA that promotes the city as a welcoming and safe place for LGBTQ travelers.   We have many active LGBTQ organizations, including a vibrant community center that is used by thousands of people a year.

Pridefest plays an integral role in making Richmond a welcoming and safe place to live, work and visit.  It is one of the largest Pride events in Virginia, attracting more than 30,000 people last year.  We have a Youth Pride Village that hosts events, vendors and entertainment for LGBTQ youth, LGBTQ families and their friends and allies.  We also host dozens of events throughout the year in an effort to ensure that Pride is more than just a singular event, but a feeling that people carry with them every day.

What entertainment is featured at your Pride?

We feature a diverse line-up of local, regional and national entertainment acts.  This includes drag performances, bands, DJs, choral groups, dancers and comedians.  Our Youth Pride Village features family and kid-friendly acts and activities, such as a lip-synch contest led by local drag performers.

For more festival info, visit VAPride.org.

What are your top / favorite experiences to share with Pride-goers?

 

– NOVA Pride –

NOVA Pride Bull Run Park Centreville

When     October 1, 2017, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where    Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville

How long has your Pride event been taking place?

This is our 4th Annual Pride Festival! Despite unfortunate weather the last couple years, we are overjoyed to have so many repeat vendors that and so many committed patrons to come out and enjoy the day with us.

How would you characterize your locality and your Pride event?

Northern Virginia has a huge and steadily growing LGBTQ+ population. Within this area, we realized there is a need for recognition and local resources to help grow an LGBTQ+ community that is otherwise distanced from the metro DC area. It is this need for a community that fuels our mission to unite county-based organizations, charities, social groups, elected leadership and LGBTQ+ individuals at large to truly form a sense of community, and empower those within it to thrive in an accepting, diverse, and positive environment. Our festival is an opportunity for the community to come together, connect with local businesses and organizations that support them and their families, and enjoy a safe, inclusive, and entertaining environment.

What entertainment is featured at your Pride?

We have featured many local singer/songwriters, bands, comedians, and drag performers – and we love that many are excited to come back the next year, as well. Additionally, we have a robust youth and family area filled with activities and games. Additionally, we work with Jimmy Alexander of the Jack Diamond Show from MIX107.3 who always entertains the crowd with fun contests for all ages. Usually these contests end with a pair of concert tickets – think Katy Perry and Cher J.

For more festival info, visit novapride.org.

What are your top / favorite experiences to share with Pride-goers?

  • Stay – There are plenty of nearby hotels to choose from.
  • Eat – The support we have received from local food providers has been inspiring. We love our food trucks!
  • Shop – Northern VA Pride Festival offers variety vendors representing local businesses who are incredibly gracious and supportive of our community. We love supporting those that support us and providing a space for these businesses to let the LGBTQ+ community know they are a friendly-business!
  • Arts – We look forward to featuring more arts-based vendors at the festival this year, and hope to have more opportunities for the community to participate in artistic endeavors. Expression is such an important part of life, and we cherish the courage and talents of our artists.
  • Outdoors – Our festival is a laid-back, open, and safe space where everyone can come and be themselves. There is plenty of parking, plenty of room to bring a blanket, get comfortable and hang out for the day.
  • Other – The Winery at Bull Run is just minutes away.

 

For more festivals and fun in Virginia, visit Virginia.org/LGBT.

 

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