The annual Nashville Pride Parade and Festival presented by Bridgestone just wrapped up this past weekend smashing attendance records and expectations with the largest celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in Tennessee. The festival featured live performances by TLC, Neon Trees, Madame Gandhi and over 100 other performers on four different stages of music and performance. 

 

Severe weather posed repeated threats leading to and throughout the weekend, but the rain did not stop the crowds from celebrating the LGBTQ+ movement and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. The Pride Parade, the first in Nashville in over ten years, drew over 25,000 people to watch more than 100 groups, floats, bands, vehicles and more parade down world famous Broadway. The two day Pride Festival featured over 200 vendors, live music and performances on four stages, a Teen and Youth area programmed by The Oasis Center’s JustUs and Students of Stonewall programs, a Kids and Family area and much more. Attendance of the two-day festival exceeded 50,000. Overall, both the festival and parade drew more than 75,000 people and shattered all previous attendance records.

This year marks an iconic and historic year for the LGBTQ+ community as it honors the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which is commonly known as the birth of the modern movement for equality for the LGBTQ+ people.  As we honor the 50th anniversary of the uprising, we celebrate the rich culture and the milestones achieved in the LGBTQ+ movement that was made possible because of the trailblazers who first stood up for their rights then and the ones who stand together now. The festival honored 13 leaders of the movement with portable monuments celebrating their work over the last 50 years for LGBTQ+ people. 

The President of Nashville Pride, Matthew Gann shared that “Our work at Nashville Pride is not just to produce a large celebration for our community but to also bring members of our LGBTQ+ community together to celebrate our humanity and the tremendous progress that we have made in the fight for the LGBTQ+ equality. It is because of trailblazers in our community and throughout this nation who have made brave sacrifices that we can celebrate our past while looking towards the future.” 

The next project that Nashville Pride moves forward with over the coming months is their Community Visioning Project, which focuses on looking ahead to the next fifty years of the LGBTQ+ movement specifically within Middle Tennessee. Opportunities to participate in the survey and the research conversations are available at lgbtqcommunitysurvey.org. 

An all-volunteer Board of Directors governs the operations of Nashville Pride, and community participation is vital to the success of the organization.  Opportunities to participate in the organization are available and open to the community at large. Visit nashvillepride.org to learn more. 

Click on the Facebook icon in the embedded gallery below to see photos from the Festival!

 

 

For more coverage of Nashville Pride 2019, click here!

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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