In 2019, the concept of Lowcountry PRIDE went from dream to reality when a small group of friends gathered around a kitchen table celebrating the love of two women and their recent engagement.

Instead of trekking far and wide to attend another PRIDE festival, they decided to start one of their own – and Lowcountry PRIDE was born.

The event will be back June 13 for its second year, with a parade through Old Town Bluffton scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon followed by a community celebration at Oscar Frazier Park’s Field of Dreams from noon to 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed for many aspects of the event, including planning.

“Our mission is to promote the visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community in the Lowcountry by educating, honoring our heritage, advocating for our culture, and celebrating our diverse society,” said Chip Jenkins, chair of Lowcountry PRIDE’s executive board. “Our purpose is to highlight the uniqueness and diversity of our community through distinct events throughout the year promoting our history and culture, including the annual Lowcountry PRIDE parade and celebration.”

The parade will be a welcoming environment for all, including families and children, Jenkins said, and will include local LGBTQIA+ groups and organizations, faith-based groups, businesses and organizations, floats, music groups, and more.

The celebration grounds will be the epicenter for the live entertainment, music, dancing, eclectic LGBT pride wear shopping, drag performances, activist speaking, and more.

“The executive board and the general Lowcountry PRIDE committee have big dreams to grow the annual pride and add extra days, activities, entertainment and more,” Jenkins said. “The location is slated to be fluid in the Lowcountry area dependent on where the organization is best able to serve our community.”

As a grassroots non-profit organization, Lowcountry PRIDE relies heavily on its volunteer base and is always seeking individuals interested in contributing to numerous committees, including fundraising, sponsorship, marketing, parade logistics, events, and talent committees.

Lowcountry PRIDE is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote the visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community in the Lowcountry by educating, honoring our heritage, advocating for our culture, and celebrating our diverse society.

For more information, email LCSCpride@gmail.com.