The largest city in North Carolina and one of the biggest in the South, fast-growing Charlotte (population 800,000) is relatively conservative compared with many other U.S. cities its size, but the gay and lesbian scene here has really taken off in recent years, and several neighborhoods - the North Davidson Arts District (NoDa), Plaza Midwood, Edgehill, and Dilworth have sizable LGBT populations. Each August, the city hosts an event-filled and increasingly well-attended, with more than 50,000 participants, Charlotte Gay Pride Festival - the dates this year are August 20 and 21, 2016.
Visit the Charlotte Gay Guide for tips on where to eat, stay, and socialize during Charlotte Gay Pride.
Although the main events of Charlotte Pride take place in Uptown (which is what folks around here call what is essentially the city's downtown) over Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21, there are quite a few parties, events, and Pride-related gatherings held during the 10 days or so leading up to Pride, including Charlotte Trans Pride, Charlotte Latin Pride Night and Charlotte Latin Pride Community Expo, and more. Here's a full Charlotte Pride events calendar.
During Pride weekend, there's a full two-day festival with live music and other performances, plus vendors, food, art exhibits, shops, and community organizations. The festival takes place on Saturday, August 20 (noon to 10 pm), and Sunday, August 21 (noon to 6 pm) at the PNC Bank Festival Zone, on S. Tryon Street between Trade and Stonewall streets. Admission is free, and a slew of both national and local performers will be on hand this year.
On Sunday, August 21, the third annual Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade takes place along N. Tryon Street in Uptown. The procession kicks off at 1 pm and lasts until 3.
Charlotte Gay Resources
During Pride week, you'll find Charlotte's several gay bars as well as popular restaurants frequented quite a lot by gays and lesbians. For ideas about where to stay, check out my, guide to gay-friendly Charlotte hotels. Take a look at Q Notes gay newspaper for more on the local gay scene. Also be sure to check out the excellent GLBT website created by the Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau, which has information on gay-friendly businesses, accommodations, and events in the region.
Also keep in mind a very popular Charlotte Black Pride Festival takes place in mid- to late July.