Preparations begin for Mid-South Pride Fest Weekend

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 10:35 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Preparations are underway for the start of Memphis Pride Fest Weekend, celebrating its 19th year.

Friday night, “Big Gay Dance Party” is back, the theme this year being “Hate is a Drag.”

The main attraction of Memphis Pride Fest Weekend, the Memphis Pride Parade and Festival, is set to take place Saturday.

The festival is a vibrant celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies in the region, organized by Mid-South Pride to advance visibility, acceptance, and equality.

(Action News 5)

With over 150 vendors offering a diverse shopping experience, community organizations and support groups, a food truck park, a car show, a kids’ area, a VIP lounge, free HIV screenings, resources for health and wellness, and of course, the Pride Parade, Memphis Pride Fest has something for everyone.

It’s the perfect place to show support for the community and connect with like-minded individuals while enjoying delicious food, live entertainment, and an unforgettable atmosphere.

Mid-South Pride President Vanessa Rodley says it’s been a rough year navigating legislation they say goes against their existence, which is why this year’s festival is so important.

“The bill and the hate that is out there, so being able to put on this event to show the love and creativity and it be successful is huge,” Rodley said. “It makes a big difference to everyone in our community and our state.”

Rodley says last year’s attendance hit close to nearly 50,000, and this year could be more depending on the ruling of the temporary hold on the drag show ban.

(Action News 5)

The Memphis Pride Parade will take place on Beale Street from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Memphis Pride Festival will span hours before and after the parade from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Robert Church Park.

Bacchus, the official after-party for the Memphis Pride Fest, will take place Saturday night at New Daisy Theatre starting at 8 p.m.

Finally, The Grand Marshal’s Drag Brunch will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe.

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