In the recent past, the city's annual gay pride event has commenced during Pride Month (June) when the overwhelming Memphis heat and humidity is at its peak. But organizers decided to push the Mid-South Pride parade and festival to October (LGBT History Month) this year in an effort to make the outdoor event more comfortable for all.
* The annual Pride Festival, a celebration in Peabody Park with vendors, info booths, live music, and beer, kicks off Saturday, October 16th at 10 a.m. The entertainment lineup includes a talk by Get Equal co-founder and director Robin McGehee and Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition president Marisa Richmond. The music lineup includes Carol Plunk, the Adams Avenue Camarata, Summer Osbourne, and the Holy Trinity Church Choir.
* The Pride Parade down Cooper Street will begin lining up in the First Congregational Church parking lot (1000 S. Cooper) at 3 p.m. with a 4 p.m. kick-off. The parade will end at Peabody Park.
Grand marshals for the 2010 parade include Constance McMillan and Ceara Sturgis, both students from Mississippi high schools who spent the past year fighting for equal treatment from school administrators. Will Phillips, a student from West Fork, Arkansas who made headlines when he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance because LGBT people don't have equal rights, will also serve as a marshal.
* On Friday, October 15th from 6 to 8 p.m., McGehee and all three grand marshals will be on hand for a Grand Marshal Meet-and-Greet at the Westin downtown (170 Lt. George W. Lee Ave.). For more on Mid-South Pride events, see their website.
* Later on the night of the 16th, there's an official Mid-South Pride After-Party at Senses. The festivities begin at 9 p.m. with Lil' Carol from the Madison Flame spinning tunes. The cover is $10, but $5 will go toward Mid-South Pride fund-raising efforts for next year's Pride events.
If you happen to be living in or near Atlanta, and you'd like to attend Mid-South Pride, Harrah's Tunica is offering special airfare rates of $59 one way or $118 round trip for people flying from Atlanta to Memphis for Pride. To reserve your flight, call 1-877-336-1641 and mention the code "Pride."
Hope to see you all there!!