We may put on the festival, but our exhibitors and vendors deliver most of the content. We expressly design the festival with the following in mind:
Diversity & Inclusion
All exhibitors who support the notion of a world where people of good will are welcomed and celebrated for who they are are equally welcome at Blue Ridge Pride. One of our favorite aspects of the festival is that, for a day, churches, activists, corporations, community services, entrepreneurs, and artists share a space together. It is something we need to see more often.
Activism & Education
We design the festival to be civil and inclusive. That does not mean that we seek to dumb down the conversation. There are so many issues to be addressed in the world and so many people who remain marginalized and stigmatized. We welcome exhibitors to educate the public about their concerns – as long as they operate within the guidelines set by the festival. This chiefly means two things:
- Feel free to offer your perspectives and educational materials to anyone who visits your booth. They have come to you. Do not distribute materials or carry banners outside your space.
- Accord the same respect to other exhibitors and vendors. We are sharing space as a community.
Yes, the festival is a celebration. But it is also rooted in Activism, Education, and Service. We encourage all exhibitors – even vendors – to think of ways you can use your presence to contribute to our community. Deliver a service. Teach us something about your culture, community, or craft. Help people to find jobs or support. Ask them to educate you. We hope that the festival is fun. But we hope even more that it is constructively life-changing.
We are often asked if two organizations can share a booth. Of course! We love partnership – especially when two organizations not typically associated with each other come together. Allow a 501c3 to share your space. Adopt a minority businesses as a partner. The wonderful thing about festivals is that we can model – if only for a day – our vision of what an inclusive community might look like. We do have two requirements:
- You must inform us in advance of any such partnerships. We must explicitly approve all exhibitors and vendors and their use of festival space. There are no exceptions to this.
- This invitation does not extend to food- and beverage-related operations. Owing to city and county regulations, we require that all food- and beverage-related operations have their own application and space.