The 2019 TriPride Parade and Festival will be held on Sept. 7. This year’s theme, “Look How Far We’ve Come,” was chosen to emphasize the progress of LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion compared to 50 years ago, when the 1969 Stonewall Riots of New York City took place.
“The Stonewall Riots were a turning point in the gay rights movement,” said Kenn Lyon, TriPride president, in a press release. “The community reached a breaking point over police harassment and brutality. So they fought back. But our positive experiences last year with local government and law enforcement just emphasizes one element of how far the LGBTQ+ community has come.”
TriPride is a 501(c) 3 charity formed in 2017 to organize and present a free community pride parade and festival. The event is the primary tool the organization uses to further its mission: building a stronger and more inclusive community across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
Last year’s event, the first of its kind in the Tri-Cities, took place at Founders Park in Johnson City, and more than 10,000 people participated in the festivities.
TriPride organizers are keeping a similar format for this year’s event. A series of activities will take place during pride week leading up to the parade and festival on Sept. 7.
Live entertainment, vendors, exhibitors and food trucks will be present. A press release states the festival will take place “in the heart of downtown Kingsport and will be free to the public.”
Organizers cite strong community support, both from individuals and local businesses, as pivotal to the event’s success.
“The theme is also poignant in regard to our own organization,” Lyon said. “We’re just over a year old as an organization. It’s incredible to think about what we’ve been able to achieve with community, business and local government support in such a short period of time.”
For more information, to become involved, to donate or become a sponsor, visit www.TriPrideTN.org or follow TriPride on social media.