The 6th Annual Cville Pride Festival is returning to Charlottesville, VA this weekend with excitement and entertainment for everyone in the local community, including many family-friendly events. This year the festival has embraced the theme, “Y’all Means All,” highlighting their small-town Southern roots, as well as creating a sense of inclusion for everyone in the local LGBTQ community. The event will be especially meaningful this year after the town experienced an intense summer of violence and political turmoil from out-of-town hate groups, as well as a recent struggle to complete the festival’s merchandise order after a Pennsylvania business refused to service them.
Despite this, the town has overcome adversity and planned a thrill-filled week. This year, local organizations and businesses are also signing up for safe-space training in preparation for the festival to better ensure a secure, pleasant experience for all festival patrons. The festival will include performances from drag performers, local bands, a hip-hop showcase, and an evening dance party with DJ Philophonic.
“We’re gratified by the support we get from the community,” said Cville Pride president, Amy-Sarah Marshall, in their press release. “Both businesses and community people have rallied around our message of inclusiveness and diversity by either sponsoring the festival, having a presence there, or giving festival-goers discounts and other perks. The support and engagement we’ve received from local businesses and organizations underscores the growing support of the LGBTQ community in this region.”
The festivities began this past Saturday and will continue until this coming Sat., Sept. 16 with a blow-out festival at Charlottesville’s Sprint Pavilion on the Downtown Mall. As they have already completed a young families playdate event in Belmont Park and Max Miss Everything went home as the winner of the new Miss Gay Charlottesville Pride Pageant, more events and activities are continuing throughout the week.
Check out what Charlottesville has to offer below!
Wednesday, September 13:
Experience a fun night on the town where you can meet other members of the trans community in a lively safe space. Enjoy drinks and refreshments in the dining room of the MarieBette Café and Bakery, an LGBTQ-owned business.
5-6:30 p.m. MarieBette Café and Bakery, 700 Rose Hill Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Thursday, September 14:
This annual gathering joins LGBTQ professionals and business owners in the new tasting room of Vitae Spirits, one of Charlottesville’s family-owned and run craft distillery. There will be appetizers and the first drink will be provided by Vitae Spirits.
5:30-7 p.m. Vitae Spirits, 715 Henry Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Friday, September 15:
On the eve of the big event, Dreama Belle hosts an all-ages, welcoming drag show that will include drag queens, kings, and femme fatales at The Southern Café and Music Hall on the Downtown Mall. The show will feature Verona Voulure DeMornay and many performers from around Virginia.
6:30 p.m. doors, 8:30 p.m. show; $15 general admission; The Southern, 103 1st St S, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Saturday, September 16:
The 6th Annual Cville Pride Festival
This family-friendly, completely free event will be hosted by Remy St. Clair, Music Director & Dreama Belle, Entertainment Director, and will offer vibrant fun and diversity for all ages. Children will be able to experience an area with games, face-painting, balloons and a giant moon bounce. Adults can head over to the beer and wine garden complete with food trucks representing over 50 local Charlottesville vendors. Pride merchandise, music, dancing and entertainment will happen throughout the day and feature headliners like Miss Symone Bishop, Miss South Carolina Pride, Bert Darling, and Cherry Poppins. Must be 21+ to drink!
11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sprint Pavilion, 700 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902′
Sat., Sept. 16:
Cville Pride Weekend Blowout