Rainbow flags, umbrellas, balloons and attire are expected to set a colorful tone for the annual Lowcountry Pride Parade and Celebration set to kick off at 10 a.m. Nov. 5 at Bluffton’s Oscar Frazier Park, 10 Recreation Court.
“Lowcountry Pride is excited to again hold this event that brings together our LGBTQ+ and ally community to celebrate the diversity of Beaufort County,” said co-chair Darion Allen.
“The level of excitement is high since this event is what we build to throughout the year,” said Angela Wright, co-chair. “We’ve expanded some of our offerings.”
The parade line up will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the park, and everyone is welcome to join in. Costumes are encouraged, and no registration is required.
The route exits the park on Eighth Avenue, proceeds down Shults Road, then along Hildebrand and Dr. Mellichamp Drive to the Promenade. From there, the parade will turn right onto the sidewalk along May River Road, and back up Shults to return to the park.
The festival will begin as parade participants return around noon. The family friendly celebration will include food and retail vendors, a kid zone area with bounce houses, face painting for all, live music and other entertainment, a silent auction, as well as nonprofit and educational booths. Lowcountry Pride merchandise will be available for sale as well.
New this year is a judgment-free table where people can go to learn, understand and ask questions about the LGBTQ community.
Allen said last year’s parade and festival was held at Oyster Factory Park over two days.
“We had about 750 people show up across both days last year, even with Covid,” he said, “so we had a great turnout.”
The planning committee hopes to build the event up going forward.
“Our first year, we had about 1,000 people come out in June 2019 at our inaugural event,” Allen said. “With us back at Oscar Frazier Park this year, we’ll have a lot of space for a lot of people!”
Allen encourages anyone interested to visit the website, lowcountrypride.org, to learn more about the organization, support its other activities, and donate to help support its programs.
Yearly activities include support groups for parents of LGBTQ+ children and people in transition, community building events, educational panels and other support for the LGBTQ+ community across the Lowcountry, Allen said. “We are also looking for volunteers to help us year-round,” he said.
For more information and a map of the complete parade route, visit lowcountrypride.org.