MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) — For the first time since 2019, Memphis Pride Fest weekend is back in person. Festival organizers are expecting around 50,000 people in downtown Memphis to celebrate the LGBTQ community.
It has been gray for some since the start of the pandemic.
“Come to the rainbows. Here we are,” Jennifer Murry-Rodley, Memphis Pride Deputy Director “Virtual was awesome and it kept us safe, but we’re ready to go out and be strong and proud.
The first weekend of Pride Month in the Mid-South is set aside for a slew of events. The headliner is Memphis Pride Fest on Saturday. The festivities kicked off Thursday with Drag n Drive, a film and a drag show.
“I love our community, so it’s great to be at the heart of it,” said Cyndelle Noel, who describes herself as an LGBTQ ally.
On Friday, the set-up for the Memphis Pride Fest was underway at Robert Church Park. Memphis Pride manager Vanessa Rodley said it would cost a dollar to get to the festival and security would be tight. The star of the day is the afternoon Pride Parade from Fourth and Beale at 1:00 p.m.
“There are going to be 50,000 people downtown who are all about love, equality, safety,” Rodley said.
Memphis Pride Fest organizers say Pride Month is a celebration, but here in the Mid-South they say it’s a reminder to everyone that you can live your authentic life anywhere. .
“Classically it’s an area that’s not open-minded or people think it is, but we want people to know that we’re here, that you’re loved, that you’re accepted, that you won’t be rejected,” Murry-Rodley said.
Although these Pride events will continue throughout the month, the true meaning of Pride is all year round.
“It’s a warm feeling and a strong connection,” Noel said.
Saturday’s Memphis Pride Fest runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Friday, the Big Gay Dance Party starts at 8 a.m. at the Crosstown Theater. We encourage you to purchase tickets online for all weekend events.
Click here to learn more about Memphis Pride weekend activities.
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