Conservative thought it is, South Carolina has burgeoning gay scenes in several communities, notable Charleston and surrounding communities. In 2010, the region held its first gay pride parade and rally, in the city of North Charleston, which lies just a short drive up I-26 from the city of Charleston. Organizers created a terrific event last year, and it's hoped attendance will continue to grow. Details about Charleston Pride Festival this year will be posted here as they become available, but the date of the event has been finalized - this year it moves a bit later than previously, to July 29 through August 4, 2013.
Book rooms and compare rates on hotels in Charleston during Gay Pride. Note also that the Mills House Hotel, in the historic district, was the official host of Pride last year.
Here's a look back at last year's event, until details about this year's Pride celebration are finalized.
Events include a Pride Art Walk and LGBT Film Festival, a Takeover Charleston Dig in the Park, the Charleston Pride Empress and Emperor Pageant, the Charleston Pride Sin Party at Music Farm, and more. Here's a full calendar of Charleston Gay Pride events.
On Saturday, the Charleston Gay Pride Parade takes place from 11 am until noon, moving down East Montague Avenue to Park Circle. Then from noon until 5 pm, there's a Pride Rally at River Front Park in North Charleston, followed by Charleston Pride Nepture Party and then the after-hours Charleston Pride Worship Party, both at downtown's South Carolina Aquarium. Finally, on Sunday, July 15, there's a Charleston Pride Folly Beach Party at Folly Beach, from noon until 7 pm.
Additionally, the area's gay-popular bars, restaurants, and other businesses will be drawing especially big crowds this weekend. Here's more on gay nightlife in Charleston, and also visit GayCharlestonOnline.com, for more on the area's gay scene. It's also helpful to take a look at the GLBT newspaper serving the Carolinas, Q Notes. Also take a look at the excellent visitor site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau.