With a rich arts and culture scene, a reputation for progressive politics, and some of the most sophisticated dining and shopping of any small city in the Southeast, it's not surprising that Asheville has such a vibrant gay pride celebration each year. The event known as Blue Ridge Pride takes place in early October - the year's date is October 5, 2013. And although the event is based in Asheville, it draws from throughout western North Carolina as well as across the border into eastern Tennessee.
Details about this year's Blue Ridge Pride will be posted here as they become available. Here's a look back at last year's event in the meantime:
The event takes place on Saturday from noon until 6 pm, and downtown Asheville's Pack Square. The festival includes a full day of musical performances, workshops geared toward the region's GLBT community, a fair with gay-friendly businesses, and booths showcases various community and statewide organizations.
There are also a number of events held around Asheville during the week leading up to Pride, including a Fun Run/Walk at Carrier Park, a Ms. Blue Ridge Pride Pageant at the popular gay bar O'Henry's, and an Interfaith Ceremony held at Riverside Park. Following Gay Pride, there's an after-party at O'Henry's on Saturday night, as well as performances by CeCe Peniston and comic Michelle Balan at Grove House, starting at 8 pm.
Of course, additionally, numerous gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Check Q Notes gay newspaper, for more. Also check out the excellent site produced by the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more on travel around the state, check out my North Carolina Gay Guide.