Rush hour traffic out of uptown Charlotte Friday afternoon will be snarled due to closures of major roads associated with the annual Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade, an event that is expected to draw more than 120,000 people to uptown.
The biggest impact will be the closure of South Tryon, from Trade Street to the south.
Charlotte Pride, which runs Saturday and Sunday, is expected to draw a record crowd due to LGBT supporters protesting the state’s sweeping anti-gay law, House Bill 2, a state law that nullified all municipal nondiscrimination ordinances. Most of those ordinances offered discrimination protections for gays.
South Tryon Street from the Levine Avenue of the Arts to Trade Street will be closed starting 9:30 a.m. Friday to accommodate the festival. Cross streets will remain open.
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At 6 a.m. Saturday, the closed section of South Tryon Street will be extended from Stonewall Street north to Trade Street, and all cross streets will be closed, including the Levine Avenues of the Arts, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Third, Fourth and Trade streets.
Closures Friday and Saturday are for set up and operation of the Charlotte Pride Festival, which runs noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The Charlotte Pride Parade runs Sunday and starts 1 p.m. at 9th Street and Tryon Street. The parade turns east on Trade Street and disperses on College Street. Staging for the parade will close Tryon Street between 9th and 11th Streets and the cross streets between Church Street and College Street at 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Organizers say the parade has more than 130 contingents, which is a 10 percent increase from last year.