Update: People on Twitter were shocked when footage from the pride festivities appeared online. The New York Post ran a story citing a popular twitter account.
“A pride event in Charlotte, NC featured a stripper pole where kids were able to try out pole dancing,” LibsofTikTok posted on Thursday.
The Charlotte Observer
More than 200,000 people are expected to attend this weekend’s Pride festivities in Charlotte, and organizers are bracing for large crowds and traffic congestion in uptown.
Showers and thunderstorms are possible for Saturday and Sunday, but the event will continue “rain or shine,” organizers said during a news conference Friday. Because of the large turnout and traffic closures, they encourage attendees to use public transportation.
Pride festival events begin at noon Saturday. All events are free.
In addition to traffic and weather, organizers addressed concerns over safety, monkeypox, and COVID-19. Here’s what to know before attending:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officials are not aware of any specific threats to Pride weekend, but uptown will have an increased police presence, Lt. Dondi Pogue said Friday.
“We want to make sure everybody can participate in a safe manner,” he said. “We will have a lot of officers out here this weekend. You will not be able to take too many steps without seeing a police officer here.”
Pride-goers should use the buddy system and alert police or staffers if they see anything suspicious.
Monkeypox and COVID
This weekend’s Pride events are the first in person since 2019, and organizers are taking precautions for two health crises this year— COVID-19 and monkeypox.
As of Thursday, North Carolina had 198 cases of monkeypox reported. While state health officials say nearly all monkeypox cases have been in men who have sex with men, Pride organizers want to make it clear that it is not a “gay disease.”
“Monkeypox is spread by close skin-to-skin contact. Though it is true that most documented transmissions have occurred in the LGBTQ community, this viral infection can be spread to any person,” Charlotte Pride said in a statement. “Like all viruses, monkeypox knows no race, color, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.”
Those attending the festival can receive a monkeypox vaccine: About 2,000 doses will be administered by the Mecklenburg County Public Health.
The vaccines will be administered at the Hal Marshall Annex, 618 N. College St., on Saturday and Sunday, county spokesperson Suzette Nedrich said.
Mecklenburg County moved back into a high risk level for COVID-19 this week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Masks are not required, but hand sanitizer and masks will be available at the festival.
Here’s footage from the “family-friendly” pride event in Charlotte, NC which featured a stripper booth where kids were about to try out pole dancing pic.twitter.com/Q1lRIrP3hv— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 25, 2022
Charlotte traffic and street closures
Street closures in uptown started Friday morning and will create significant traffic delays, organizers say.
Clark Simon, president of Charlotte Pride, encourages attendees to use public transportation this weekend.
The Charlotte Area Transit System doesn’t expect any delays this weekend and encourages Pride attendees to use CATS-Pass to travel, a spokesperson told The Charlotte Observer.
Pride attendees also should follow CATS on Twitter (@CATSRideTransit) for any major trip updates, the spokesperson said.
A Charlotte FC match at 7 p.m. on Sunday will add to any lingering congestion.
A pride event in Charlotte, NC featured a stripper pole where kids were able to try out pole dancing pic.twitter.com/G3MooSiIch— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 25, 2022
There is a chance of showers on Saturday, with thunderstorms possible after 3 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. The chance of thunderstorms is 40% in the evening.
More showers and thunderstorms are possible throughout the day on Sunday, according to NWS. The Pride parade is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
In case of severe weather, event organizers say they have a plan and are coordinating with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management. Organizers did not share the details of this plan at a Friday news conference.