Last year, the Charlotte Pride parade set a record as the city’s largest annual parade when nearly 5,000 people registered to march. This year, organizers expect nearly 6,000 marchers.
This year’s event, a two-day festival to promote the visibility of the LGBTQ community, will kick off this weekend in uptown.
More than 150,000 people attended the 2017 festival weekend, Charlotte Pride Communications Director Matt Comer said. He added that attendance grows every year and organizers expect that to continue this weekend.
The two-day Charlotte Pride Parade and Festival starts Saturday, Aug. 18, on Tryon Street in uptown between Trade and Stonewall streets. It runs from noon to 10 p.m. the first day and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19.
The festival will feature entertainment that includes performances on a main stage near Stonewall Street, a karaoke stage, a family zone and food vendors, among other attractions.
The Charlotte Pride parade takes place Sunday, Aug. 19 on North Tryon Street. It kicks off at 1 p.m. The route travels from 9th Street and North Tryon Street to the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets, according to the event’s website.
Forty-three floats and more than 170 groups will participate in the parade, Comer said.
Street parking in uptown is free on weekends. The event website recommends anticipating parking prices up to $15 in surrounding facilities. The festival is a few blocks away from the Lynx light-rail line, and the Charlotte Transportation Center/Arena stop is closest to the stage at the end of the parade route.
South Tryon Street will be closed between Stonewall and Trade streets starting at 9 a.m. Friday. Levine Avenue of the Arts will close Friday but will re-open between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to accommodate commuters leaving uptown. Other cross streets will be open.
On Saturday and Sunday, that section of South Tryon Street will remain closed, and all cross streets in the area will close at 6 a.m. Saturday.
Sunday’s parade on North Tryon Street will close cross streets between Church and College streets on the parade route from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All the streets in uptown will reopen at 11 p.m. Sunday, city officials said.