Staunton announces pride festival for October

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Even though June is over, some event organizers are still ready to celebrate pride.

In-person pride events have been on hold since the pandemic began.

Staunton's last pride festival was in 2018. Now, they're gearing up for another.
Staunton's last pride festival was in 2018. Now, they're gearing up for another.(WHSV)

Staunton Pride event organizers announced they’ll celebrate on Saturday, October 2 at Gypsy Hill Park from noon until 6 p.m. There will also be a drag show that night from 8-10 p.m.

Since the pandemic, they’ve hosted only virtual and small-scale events, according to event director, AnhThu Nguyen. Nguyen says it was very important for the local LGBTQ community to keep in touch.

“What was really important for the leadership was for us to find ways for us to still support our community and find ways to stay connected,” said Nguyen.

Through all the smaller events, they knew they would plan a large festival when it was safe. Because of all the planning, she said they have “a lot of momentum going into the fall event.”

Between the pandemic and recent policy changes affecting the LGBTQ community, the group agreed events were very important this year.

“Our community has been witness to some really harmful rhetoric and harmful policies in the last few years,” she said. “This year’s really important for us to be visible and to celebrate and to kind of center our resilience as a community and our joy.”

Nguyen says she’s attended a pride event every year since she came out in her 20s, so not having pride festivals has been very sad.

“It’s been a very big part of my path and my journey,” she said.

She adds there will be a beer garden, a vendor market and live music at the event.

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