9As the world moves towards equality and inclusivity, Pride Fest 2024 offers a chance to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride. Whether you’re in the closet, out and proud, or an excited ally, Fayetteville Pride’s upcoming Pride Fest is an exciting event for all.
There are many ways to celebrate during the month of June, but Fayetteville’s Pride Fest continues to stand out. This loved event has been hosted for five years and quickly broke attendance records in 2022 with over 6,000 attendants. Pride Fest invites us to see the strength in unity and the beauty in diversity and inclusivity.
Fayetteville Pride is a dedicated group focused on acceptance, unity and advocacy for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Aiming to create a safe and inclusive space for all LGBTQ+ members, Fayetteville Pride started as an interest-based meeting back in 2017. The crew quickly evolved from party planners and created a non-profit community-driven organization.
According to its website, fayettevillepride.org, the organization strives to use education, celebrations, and networking to get its message across.
Fayetteville Pride’s objectives are to serve as an educational service for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies, advocate within the Fayetteville area, promote full human and civil rights, and create visibility for the community as a whole. They hope to work towards a better and more inclusive future for the LGBTQ+ community, model diversity and inclusion, and produce events that inspire, educate, and celebrate love.
This year’s Pride Fest promises to be an unforgettable event, bringing together all kinds of people to honor the progress made toward equality and inclusivity.
Fayetteville’s Pride Fest will take place on Saturday, June 29 from noon to 6 p.m. at Festival Park (335 Ray Ave). Attendees can find a variety of vendors and a large selection of food trucks sprinkled throughout the park. Look out for vegan and vegetarian options as well as ice cream and shaved ice to cool everyone down. There will be vendors offering resources, handmade crafts and gift items.
Pride Fest is open to all ages and people from all walks of life. Whether you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, this festival offers a chance to celebrate love, equality and of course, pride.
Don’t forget about entertainment. Look out for professional impersonators, local vocalists and contests to participate in. Previous participants of Pride Fest will be excited to hear that the pose walk, a contest to see who has the best Vogue-style strut, is back. Do all this and more with a professional DJ playing fun dance music. This year also offers face painting. Don’t forget to bring a chair or umbrella to stay cooled off in the NC heat.
Krystal Maddox, the president of Fayetteville Pride, started out as a volunteer in 2018 after attending the first Pride festival. Maddox worked alongside all sorts of people: professors from Fayetteville State, medical professionals from Cape Fear Valley, local business owners, and members of the local arts community.
“We all saw a need to help our community with resources, allies, and interactions with one another,” Maddox states. She eventually became the entertainment committee chair, then onto a board member, and now the president of Fayetteville Pride.
“We are extremely lucky right now that we have a great team on our board. Our board now represents different aspects of our community in ways it never had before. We have trans women, trans men, gay men and women plus representation of different races. It’s a good mix— plus really good people.”
Maddox continued about how incredible these events are. “By far the best thing about the Festival is the atmosphere and people, not only the LGBTQ+ community but our allies and family members of both.”
While Pride is a time for celebration, it also acts as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and acceptance in the world. LGBTQ+ people continue to be criminalized in other countries and outcast in ours. Pride Fest highlights the importance and impact of collective action all while marching, dancing, and learning together. Be a part of the change and show your pride and support through Pride Fest 2024.

(Photo: Attendees to Fayetteville PRIDE's Pride Fest pose for a photo in 2018. Photo courtesy of Fayetteville PRIDE's Facebook Page)

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