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 date this year is October 1, 2016. And although the event is based in Asheville, it draws from throughout western North Carolina as well as across the border into eastern Tennessee.
The Blue Ridge Pride Festival takes place on Saturday, October 1, from noon until 6 pm, in downtown Asheville's Pack Square. The festival included a full day of musical performances, a fair with gay-friendly businesses (and a mechanical bull!), 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, which include a Pride Ice Cream Social at Hop Ice Cream Cafe on September 27, Pride Bowling Night at Sky Lanes on September 28, a Miss Blue Ridge Pride Beauty Pageant on September 29, a Pride in the Park celebration on Friday night, September 30 at downtown's Pack Square Park from 6 pm until 9 pm in the evening, and Pride After Parties at Scandal's and O'Henry's on Saturday, October 1. Here's a full calendar of parties and gatherings taking place throughout Asheville's Blue Ridge Pride week.
Asheville Gay Resources
Many Asheville 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.