Blue Ridge Pride 2018

September 29 | Asheville, North Carolina

Welcoming Communities of Western North Carolina:

Diversity and Inclusion = Success

Join Our Welcoming WNC Procession!

Procession Home Page  |  Register to Walk (required)

When is a Pride Parade not a Parade?   

Join us for our Pride Procession through Asheville. Celebrate the multitude of organizations, businesses and people who envision Western North Carolina as a rich and welcoming community.  We want to give voice to the many organizations that strive to create spaces that welcome all to work, shop, and congregate as their authentic selves, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sex, disability, class, or religion.  Our theme: Welcoming WNC: Diversity + Inclusion = Success.  

Sep 29 | 10:30 am – 11:15 am @ Patton Ave & Pack Square Park

(Procession Walkers Meet at 9:30 across from 23 Grove St)

Create the Festival!

Volunteer!

Become a Patron of Pride

Other Links

(Closed to New Applicants)

Vendors  | Corporate Sponsors | Entertainers

View our generous sponsors and patrons below.

Enjoy the Festival

Visiting Asheville | Parking Map

Festival Stage Lineup | Festival Exhibitors

This is Our Biggest Yet!

  • 53+ Welcoming Employers, Health Care Providers, and Communities of Faith.
  • 40+ Justice, Politics, Community Services, LGBTQ Social & Support Groups.
  • 75+ Merchants, Services, Food & Beverage Vendors
  • Three Stages feature some of WNC’s finest performers.
  • Over 180 Tents — So much to take in!
  • A children’s play area – art mobile, bouncy house, balloon sculptures, fairy hair

Sep 29, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm @ Pack Square Park

Thank You, Emerald Sponsors, For Providing Us a Foundation of Support

Thank You, Gold / Gold+ Sponsors, For Investing in Our Community

Thank You, Hospitality Sponsors, For Bringing a Little Fun to WNC

Thank You, Media Sponsors, For Keeping Us Connected

Thank You, Pride Champions and Patrons of Pride, for Lending Local Strength

WNC LGBTQ Calendar

[Email Us to Add Your LGBTQA Events]

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Sun 23

LGBTQ Weekly Run/Walk

September 23 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Thu 27

LGBTQ+ Elders Lunch

September 27 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Thu 27

Special Gay Film: Tom of Finland

September 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thu 27
Thu 27

Tuck It Up Buttercup!

September 27 @ 10:00 pm - September 28 @ 2:00 am

2018 Mx Blue Ridge Pride Pageant

We have a new winner!!  Meet Natasha Nightly, the new Mx Blue Ridge Pride.

For the first time, we opened up our annual pageant to all forms of gender identity and expression.  What impressed and surprised us most wasn’t the diversity of the contestants, it was the diversity of the audience.  People are interested in understanding and appreciating different experiences and interpretations of gender.  That what we had hoped for!

We’re growing.


Everyone loves a festival. We are certainly proud of ours.  We broke records: more entertainers, more visitors, more vendors and more varieties of beer than ever before.  But we aspire to do so much more for the community we love.
We have ambitious plans for 2018.  Click on the tabs below to see what we are working on.  Soon, we will relaunch our web site and social media pages to better reflect our broader mission.  We look forward to growing our community together!

Welcoming Spaces

WNC Community Center. We recently joined forces with Youth OUTright WNC and Tranzmission to open an LGBTQ Center in Asheville (417 Biltmore Avenue).  We look forward to opening the center this quarter.

WNC Virtual LGBTQ Community Center. Our mission is to all of western North Carolina.  Towards that end, we plan to launch a virtual community center that can support everyone – especially those living in isolated communities. Organizations that serve the LGBTQ and allied communities in WNC will be able to post their services, groups, events and resources in an easy-to-search database and calendar.
The online center will also provide a gateway to virtual services.  We are in discussions with several developers for services such as virtual peer support groups, remote counseling, and an online “Identiversity”.

Anti-Racism Training. In partnership with leaders at several organizations, we have committed to a nine-month initiative to explore the hidden roots of racism.  Why?  We don’t simply want to invite others into spaces and events that we create.  We want to co-create events and spaces that feel like home to everyone we aim to serve.

Advocacy & Outreach


Coalition Work / Turnout Asheville. We have become a lot more active in coalitions this year. We are partnering with groups like Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE), Equality North Carolina, and Tranzmission.  We are especially excited about Turnout Asheville, a coalition that is working to advance equality-focused legislation and to support equality-minded candidates.

Welcoming Communities of Western North Carolina. Lately, it seems like all we hear from are the haters.  We are launching our Welcoming Communities program to give voice to organizations and individuals who throw out the welcome mat for everyone.  We will also seek to help those who aspire to become more welcoming.

Celebrations with Purpose

Blue Ridge Pride Festival 2018. This year marks a major milestone: our tenth annual pride festival. Like every festival, we aim to make this year’s bigger and better.  We are hoping to incorporate a parade this year.

Diversity & Inclusion.  We made some progress in diversifying our programming in 2017.  But we aim to do so much more in 2018.  For example, we have opened a dialogue about the Miss Blue Ridge Pride Pageant.  Does it have to be “Miss”? Can we use the pageant to encourage more thoughtful discussion about gender, sexuality, culture, and identity?

Partnership.  Events can have a strong allying effect.  Beyond producing our own events, we plan to make it a priority in 2018 to support other organizations’ and communities’ events. We will also work with allied groups to establish a stronger LGBTQ presence at signature events and parades in 2018.

Community Development

Blue Ridge Community Development Fund.  We are committed to reinvesting any funds we raise back into the WNC community.  This year, we have already invested over 400% more in local, non-profit initiatives than in any year past. In 2018, we plan to grow these investments another 400%. We are establishing a formal process that will allow local groups to apply for funding online and for the community to track our award decisions.

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