We live in a time where more and more awareness exists about LGBTQ culture. The local university, the public libraries, businesses on the downtown mall – many recognize June – correctly – as Pride Month. Without any prompting, they’re flying rainbow flags, hosting programs, posting celebratory exclamation marks about inclusion and love.
Pride parades started to commemorate the Stonewall riots that took place in New York City in late June 1969, kicking off the modern gay rights movements as we know it.
Why, then, does the pride festival in Charlottesville happen in September?
Since we keep getting asked, we figured it was time to answer.
The 3 Reasons Why Cville Pride Takes Place in September
#1: Students. We’re a small university town, so it makes sense that we want the college community to join the celebration. By June, most UVA students, at least, have left the area. We hold the festival at a time when we know the students are back in town and can attend.
#2 Weather. June is HOT here in Virginia! September tends to be more moderate. Of course, this means we’re competing with tons of other fun events and festivals in the area – but for our many volunteers who slug tables and boxes all day long, they’re grateful for the better weather.
#3 Washington, D.C. Since June is officially Pride month, that’s when the big cities hold their parades and festivals – New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, etc. The closest of these giant celebrations takes place in D.C. And we don’t want to compete! We have tons of locals who love to go to that big gay party, but who also want to go local.
FYI – For that same reason – to avoid competing with each other – we also coordinate with other Virginia Pride festivals, to make sure our events don’t overlap. You’ll find that Richmond, Petersburg, Northern Virginia, and other Prides in the Commonwealth also hold their festivals in September and October.