2020 Festival Cancelled

We are sad to report the cancellation of the 2020 Blue Ridge Pride Festival.  

Public safety is our #1 priority.   We will provie additional updates shortly.  Stay safe!

Sponsorships Help to Build Our Community

Sponsorships do so much more than support our festival.  All net proceeds from the festival support other community-building programs.  During the past two years, our sponsors have enabled us to expand into several new programs, projects, and events:

  • Community Partner Fund
  • WNC LGBTQ Oral History Project
  • WNC Virtual LGBTQ Center
  • Welcoming WNC Procession
  • Movies & Mixer Series
  • LGBTQ Story Slam

During its first year, the Partner Fund distributed $7,500 to WNC community organizations.  The Oral History Project has captured the lives of thirty area residents in its first six months.  Our 2019 Procession brought together hundreds of people and dozens of organizations to share a simple aspiration: a WNC community that is welcoming and equitable for all.

But, even by itself, the festival contributes significantly to our local community and economy:

  • An estimated 14,000 to 18,000 people attend.
  • Dozens of community service organizations and healthcare providers deliver services and information to visitors.
  • Local businesses and employers make contact with segments of our community that are often hard to reach.
  • Many non-profits and community groups rely on the festival to raise funds, reach new audiences, and to activate and educate their neighbors.

The festival brings people together for a day of celebration, action, education, commerce, and service.  In a world that seems to grow smaller and more divided with each passing day, what could be more important than that we learn to share space, ideas, and cultures together?

Sponsorships help to make this happen.  And we thank you! 

Sapphire Sponsors

Emerald Sponsors

Gold+ Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Patrons of Pride

Media Sponsors

2020 Festival Cancelled

We are sad to report the cancellation of the 2020 Blue Ridge Pride Festival.  

Public safety is our #1 priority.   We will provie additional updates shortly.  Stay safe!

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Sponsorship Options

We secure most of our corporate support through festival sponsorships.  However, we also offer options to sponsor specific programs, projects and other events. 

Reasons to Become a Sponsor

1. It makes good business sense.

Supporting the Blue Ridge Pride Festival visibly demonstrates your business’ commitment to an important community in western North Carolina.
  • You reach an important audience. There are an estimated 34,000 LGBTQ adults in western North   The Asheville area alone has 83% more LGBTQ-identified people than the average American city or town (U.S. Census). These individuals are part of the nearly $1 trillion-dollar LGBTQ market in the U.S.
  • You reach a diverse audience. Since 2009, the Blue Ridge Pride Festival has continued to grow and attract attendees from across the Southeast, typically 10,000 to 15,000 attendees.  We have worked hard to ensure that our festival is family-friendly, welcoming to all, with an emphasis on local entertainment and sponsorship.
  • You reach a loyal audience. LGBTQ populations are loyal to businesses that support them. 55% of LGBT consumers will choose to do business with companies that are committed to the diversity/equal treatment of the LGBT community. 70% of LGBT adults said they would pay a premium for a product from a company that supports the LGBT community. 78% of LGBT adults and their friends, family and relatives would switch to brands that are known to be LGBT- friendly.

2. You support a stronger community.

From the Executive Director down, Blue Ridge Pride is a volunteer-driven organization.  We apply all net funds from our festival to our community programs and to funding local partners.  This year, we are launching three important new programs.

Unique Issues to Address

The classic urban solution to LGBTQ community-building is a brick-and-mortar Center.  But rural LGBTQ communities face a unique set of issues that render this conventional, big-city solution less effective.
  • Our community is isolated and invisible. Many of the neediest in our community live far from a large town center. Sadly, the fear and hopelessness of LGBTQ people living in rural isolation is invisible to the rest of us.  Big cities get all the tweets.
  • Our service providers are many and passionate, but tiny. In western North Carolina, we are blessed by a stunning number of local organizations and groups that want to support and welcome our community. Unfortunately, most of these are small and geographically limited.  They lack the scale and infrastructure to reach many of the people who need them most.
  • Our local donors are generous, but overwhelmed. We are also blessed by an abundance of organizations and people who are happy to support our community. But they are overwhelmed by the breadth of issues, organizations, funding requests, and information sources.  They are generally unaware of needs and groups that lie outside their everyday circle of friends.   How to help them to look more broadly?
We have expanded and refocused our programs with these issues in mind.

Our Programs


Blue Ridge Pride traces its roots back to 2009, when the community banded together to hold its first festival on a public space in Martin Luther King Park. For the next ten years, the organization focused on two annual events: the Blue Ridge Pride Festival and the Miss Blue Ridge Pride Pageant.  In 2017, the board voted to expand our mission and our programs.   

Community-Building Events

While the festival remains core to our mission, we have expanded into many new types of events.  Public events play a crucial role in society.  They can unite or segregate. They can foster confrontation or encourage reconciliation. We believe that, as the world grows smaller, it is critical that we learn to share space together gracefully. We seek to create shared spaces that are welcoming to all. We seek to foster dialogues that are honest and challenging, but respectful and constructive. It’s a fine line to walk, but we believe that it is worth the effort.

  • Blue Ridge Pride Festival – Our annual, family-friendly fall celebration of WNC’s LGBTQ community and our wonderful allies. It attracts 14,000 to 18,000 people.
  • Welcoming WNC Procession – A parade of people rather than floats. We walk to give voice and visibility to all who aspire to a western North Carolina that is welcoming and equitable to all.
  • Movies & Mixer Series – A summer film series coupled with a community mixer.
  • LGBTQ Story Slam – Community members and allies share their most personal experiences.
  • MX Pride Pageant – Showcases people who explore and express gendered identity in all its wonderful forms.
  • Event Partnerships and Collaborations – We are working with other events, organizations, and communities in an effort to break down needless barriers.

Virtual Community Center

This year, we are launching what we believe to be the first 100% virtual LGBTQ center in the country.  We hope that it becomes a model for other rural communities.  Some of things it will feature in its first release:

  • Welcoming Calendar – A searchable calendar of events, meetings, seminars, and entertainment that target and/or welcome our community;
  • Welcoming Directories – Directories of welcoming service providers, support groups, social groups, employers, and organizations;
  • Welcoming Speakers – A catalog of locally available seminars and speakers that address issues of importance to our community and allies;
  • Welcoming Communities – Pages devoted to building a more welcoming WNC: Welcoming Faith, Welcoming Schools, Welcoming Sports, Welcoming Healthcare, Welcoming Workplaces.

Our goal is to keep this resource free to the community.  We want groups and non-profit service providers to be able to post their information without worrying about cost.

Community Partner Fund

In 2019, we launched the Blue Ridge Pride Community Partnership Fund.  All funds are set aside for local groups that demonstrably support western North Carolina’s LGBTQ and allied communities In our first year, we gave out $7,500 in grants.  The goal of the fund is threefold:

  • Make it easy for qualifying organizations – especially small ones – to apply for financial support.
  • Make it easy for local donors to support a greater variety of local groups and services.
  • Create a sense of shared community and a greater awareness of all the groups that support it.

We maintain a public posting of grants awarded.   We are starting small, but we hope to see this program grow considerably.  Local organizations have found creative ways to support this program.  Green Man Brewery committed all profits from one of its brands, LUV ALL, to the fund.  The Aloft Asheville Downtown and Fine Arts Theatre collaborated to support the fund through the Movie and Mixer Series.   This is the sort of coming together that we dream of.

Community Projects

We have started with a single project.  However, we are exploring other collaborations, such as a Safe Public Spaces project with area businesses.  We are also collaborating with Campaign for Southern Equality to support our local community of queer artists.

WNC LGBTQ Oral History Project

The LGTBQ Oral History Archive project is a collaboration of the Blue Ridge Pride Center and UNC Asheville, with generous seed funding from the YMCA of Western NC. We aim to document a richer, fuller, and more inclusive history of our region by recording the stories and memories of people in our community.  In the future, we plan to capture the history of some of our more storied LGBTQ institutions and events.

Help us grow our community ... together

Your support helps us to fund projects and programs that build our community

Virtual Community Center

Oral History Project

Community Events

Community Partner Fund

Become a Sponsor Today

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Donation Total: $1,000.00

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Thank you!  We will contact you to arrange details regarding artwork, festival activities, and promotion options.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or requests, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

The Team at Blue Ridge Pride


Submitting Graphics

For sponsors and patrons, we generally require at two versions of your logo: one for print media and banners, one for the Internet and email.

Electronic / Email

  • These files are commonly known as raster graphics.  Raster file formats include JPEG, PNG, APNG, GIF, and MPEG4.
  • Ideally, we want a file that is 400 by 400 pixels.  If it isn’t, we will add bordering to make it square.

Print / Banners

  • These files are commonly known as vector graphics.  Vector files formats include SVG, EPS, PDF and AI.
  • The advantage of vector graphics is that they will look good no matter how big your print them.

Zip Files

  • If you have hired a graphics designer to create your logo, chances are good that they have created a single zip file that includes all common formats in both types.  You can send this.

You can submit your graphics by emailing them to [email protected] or [email protected]


User's Guides - Welcoming Groups

Tips suggested by users

  • Prepare. There is no save-and-resume button, so have all the information on hand. (But you can return to edit it.)
  • Recurring Events. Powerful, but a little confusing the first time:
    • To enter a meeting on the same date each month (e.g., the 5th), select “on the same day”. 
    • To enter a meeting on the same day and/or week (e.g., 1st Monday), select “on a different day”. 
  • Categories. As a rule, you will want to select at least three categories, one from each of the following.
    • Event Type
    • Target Audience
    • Welcoming Pages
  • Venues / Organizers.
    • Enter the name of the organizer and location. 
    • If it is already in the database, the calendar will populate your event with relevant contact and location information. 
    • If you have to add a new organizer or venue, please fill in all the fields.  It will help others.
  • Review. Once you submit an event, it will be reviewed before appearing on the calendar.

Help Us

We find the calendar pretty intuitive. Please use the feedback button to suggest tips to add here.

Give us feedback!  And, please be patient.

This is our pilot release.  We will assemble user feedback to guide our second release in 2020 Q2.

We encourage and welcome donations.

We welcome everything from modest donations to immodest endowments. If active users and directory listers kick in a little something each year, we think that we can sustain and build this virtual center for the community.

Relevant to our local LGBTQ and allied communities.

This includes western North Carolina and nearby communities in contiguous states (e.g., eastern Tennessee, northwestern South Carolina, northern Georgia, southwestern Virginia. It also includes groups based outside the region that have a local presence.

No offensive content

This includes language and visuals that are considered hateful, threatening or inappropriately graphic.  Bear in mind that this site is accessible to minors.

No content that poses a threat to people’s privacy or to copyright laws.

Do not share names, photos or contact information without appropriate authorization or consent. 

No embedded funding appeals and links.

Why?  We don’t allow these because we don’t have the resources to monitor such links. You are welcome to link to pages on your site that include these. 

Customer Feedback Form

Please use this form to report issues and errors and to provide feedback and suggestions.  This site relies heavily on volunteer support.  Please allow us time to respond.

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Weekly Community Calendar

TARGET AUDIENCE: LGBTQ Community, Allies and Friends

Events for week of May 31, 2020

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Help us grow our community ... together

Your support helps us to fund projects and programs that build our community

Virtual Community Center

Oral History Project

Community Events

Community Partner Fund

Donate to Blue Ridge Pride Center, Inc.

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $25.00 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

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