CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Earlier this week, Charlotte Pride announced they’d be pushing the majority of their events back until October, due to the Delta variant and vaccination rates.
“It would be nice to just be here today having fun, celebrating,” said Charlotte Pride Vice President of the Board, Clark Simon.
Instead, Simon sat down with FOX 46 right on S. Tryon St. in Uptown on what would have been the kickoff day for Pride Season.
He said, “It’s more frustration that the anticipation is now just kicked back slightly.”
Frustrating, but slightly anticipated; in fact, after being only virtual last year, the group decided to spread their events out over August and September instead of cramming everything into two weeks.
The move would allow for more flexibility in rescheduling events.
Simon said, “It’s just a lot of being flexible and able to pivot while maintaining the number one priority: the health and safety of the community.”
Now, Pride Seasons’ larger events will kick off with the Drag Pageant, Pride Concert, and Pride Festival on October 16th.
The Flourish in Concert event will now run on October 13th.
All participants will be required to show proof of vaccination for all events and Simon said masks and social distancing measures will be in place based on recommendations from Mecklenburg County.
He said, “We are really wanting to have the events, but make sure they’re as safe as possible and ensure everyone feels comfortable in wanting to come out.”
Simon acknowledges that the move will impact local businesses too.
“When you have a festival that runs along the street, all the businesses are there, the bars and restaurants, and coffee shops, the t-shirt stores, whatever it might be, will get people walking in and milling about,” Simon said.
While the postponement is disappointing, Simon said that it doesn’t take away from Pride Season’s true purpose.
“The atmosphere is just a sense of community, not just the LGBTQ community, it’s Charlottean’s coming out having fun, supporting other Charlottean’s.”
You can find a full list of rescheduled events here.