Blue Ridge Pride Festival Announces COVID Plans; Invites Community Input

We are monitoring COVID closely, mindful that cancellation is a possibility. We describe the actions we are taking and invite community input to our decision-making process.

To the community,

The following describes our actions and plans regarding COVID and its impact on the Blue Ridge Pride Festival and Welcoming WNC Procession (scheduled for September 25). We continue to work at full throttle.  But we are very concerned and are monitoring conditions closely.  We are also inviting community input with a special COVID Survey.

Close Watch on COVID

A few weeks ago, at a local COVID update, Buncombe County Health Director Stacie Saunders said predictive models suggest that COVID cases will rise through August and peak in September. We are paying close attention to updates to see if this shift occurs and how pronounced it will be. Clearly, if the current trend continues, the festival is at risk. We are hoping for a break before the festival.

We are also watching other trends: vaccinations, hospitalizations, and mortality rates.  On the bright side, we are greatly encouraged by the uptick in vaccinations.  Please, get vaccinated if you aren’t already. They are free and readily available. Visit for information and locations. Vaccines are the most important thing you can do to protect the safety of our community and yourself.

Finally, we are monitoring other events, crowd behaviors, and outcomes.  We will be watching the upcoming LEAF and Goombay festivals particularly closely.

Protecting Our Community – Actions Taken

Our number one priority is the health of our community.

  • We have reduced the number of booths to create more space.
  • Local partners will offer rapid testing and vaccinations at the festival.
  • We have stocked up on face coverings, gloves, and sanitizer.
  • We have purchased additional card readers in order to reduce handling of cash.
  • Our current plan is to request that people who attend wear masks.
  • We have cancelled several indoor events and may cancel or postpone others.

We haven’t cancelled yet because, as we have seen, a lot can change in four weeks.  We don’t want to rush to judgment unless it serves a purpose. This is where you come in. We ask you to share your perspective in our special Community COVID Survey.  When do you want a decision? What are you most concerned about? What are your plans?

Our hope is that everyone can continue to plan for the festival without worrying too much.  We don’t want anyone to feel pressure to participate. If you have questions, contact us through your representative or at

What You Can Do (Links)

If we do not see a break in the trend, there is a good chance that we will have to cancel. You may decide that you need to change your plans.  That’s OK.  Whatever happens, we want to work together as a community and to emerge stronger.

Wishing y’all health and good choices.

Your All-Volunteer Team at Blue Ridge Pride 

Open PDF Press Release

Links Used:


Scroll to Top

Mental Health Providers

Eric Davis  MS, LCPA, NCC, Counselor

Willow Wellness and Recovery, PC 9 All Souls Crescent  Suite B, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 490-4137 | Website I am a firm believer in empowerment and self-determination. In the past, I have worked well with folks experiencing a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance-use, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, and issues unique to the LGBT community.

Scott Thomas,  Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCAS

Silver Lining Therapy 70 Woodfin Place  STE 21, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 705-3084 | Website I believe humor can be a powerful tool for healing and seek to incorporate this into our time together. Unique to my practice is an approach that truly puts you at the center of the counseling experience, and I draw from a wide variety of techniques to help you see and experience real change in your life. To see if therapy might be a good fit, I offer free phone consultations.

James Harrison, PhD Psychologist

12 Westridge Dr , Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 348-6300 | Website I enjoy helping people achieve physical and emotional intimacy whether they are young or old, straight or gay, in healthy, responsible, and mutually affirming ways. I also enjoy helping people improve their earning and manage their assets. And I like working with older people. I offer free phone consultations.

Judy Maris, Counselor, LPC, LCPC, MA, MS

Maris Psychotherapy 41 Clayton St, Suite 301, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 537-4489 | Website We can explore troublesome patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life or look at new issues that have just come up. The important thing is for us to work together to get to the bottom of your difficulties and resolve them. I will assist you in becoming more aware of what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment. The untapped wisdom within you is a powerful healing force. Let me help you gain access to your full inner resources. I offer free phone consultations.

Elizabeth Heaney, Counselor, MA, LPC 

166 E Chestnut Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (520) 447-3319 | Website I work with individual adults with concerns like: family history issues, relationship concerns, life satisfaction issues (related to jobs, living situations or relationships), anxiety and depression. I’ve had a particular focus on working with couples, addressing every aspect of relationship challenges – relationship dissatisfaction/boredom, affairs, sexual/intimacy issues, etc. And I was a civilian counselor on military bases for several years, so I have a clear understanding of the unique pressures and challenges facing service members and families. I offer free phone consultations.

Siljoy Maurer

Holistic Perspectives P.O. Box 333, Enka, NC 2872  Phone: (828) 333-0103  | or For many years now I have been mentoring men and women from all walks of life. It continues to be my greatest joy to accompany someone from “just being ok” into thriving! As a Mentor & Healer I partner with my clients in creating authenticity, wellness and deep contentment, in whatever area of their lives they are seeking change. The combination of giving very practical, livable tools for direct “next steps” while “holding the big picture” and then manifesting that big picture often feels like this: a new client brings me their life or life situation in a jigsaw puzzle box, they lost the lid and forgot what the picture on it looked like. I am good at knowing that picture and then guiding my clients/mentees to put all the puzzle pieces together.  

Community & User Requests / Feedback

"*" indicates required fields

Keep up with our programs and events!
Click yes to receive occasional updates.
Direct This To
(AUTO) User Roles
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


MailPO Box 2044, Asheville NC 28802-2044

Packages: 33 Coxe Avenue, Unit 2044, Asheville NC 28801 (note different zip code).

Phone: 828-423-0655 (via Google Voice)

Program / Project Emails
General Emails
Festival / Event Emails