CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- More than 165,000 people are expected to attend the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade this weekend, bringing an economic boost to the area.
- The two-day event celebrates and empowers the LGBTQ community in the city and state.
- The Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority estimates the 18,000 visitors who attended the event generated $7 million in the economy.
- The festival will be held on South Tryon between Trade and Stonewall Streets on Saturday and Sunday.
The two-day event celebrates and empowers the LGBTQ community in the city and state.
“Businesses are attracted to cities that are welcoming and inclusive. Having a large event for the LGBTQ community shows that this is a welcoming and inclusive place for businesses to come but it also shows that LGBTQ people are a part of this community,” Charlotte Pride Spokesman Matt Comer said.
According to Comer, the Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority estimates the 18,000 visitors from out of town who attended the event generated $7 million in the economy.
"We've been told by other city leaders that this is one of the primary signature civic events of the city every year. That's an accomplishment we are very proud of,” Comer said.
The event has also been beneficial to Charlotte businesses, such as Your Custom Catering and Events.
Owner Nate Turner opened the business seven years ago.
“The last few years have been insane, especially after opening our new venue and kitchen space, business has been out of this world. More than I could imagine,” Turner said.
He has been the caterer for the VIP section of the Charlotte Pride Festival for five years.
He added the exposure at the event brought him additional business.
"It's actually very exciting, you get to meet a lot of stars that they bring in and then other individuals within the city,” Turner said.
The festival will be held on South Tryon between Trade and Stonewall Streets on Saturday and Sunday. The parade will take place on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Tryon Street between Trade Street and Stonewall Street will closed on Friday along with Levine Avenue between Church Street and Tryon Street.
Martin Luther King Blvd, 3rd Street and 4th Street will close on Saturday at 5 a.m.