It is with heavy hearts that the TriPride Board of Directors announces the postponement of the 2020 TriPride Parade and Festival, exact date to be determined. The event was scheduled to take place in the heart of Downtown Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia on Saturday, August 29, 2020.
Organizers expect this will come as a disappointment, not only to the parade marchers, the festival exhibitors, and sponsors, but also to the anticipated 10,000+ attendees from the community.
Vendors who have already signed up and paid to participate in the 2020 event will be fully refunded. Sponsors will have the option to be fully refunded or to hold their sponsorship until the next event.
The decision to postpone the event was not an easy one and came after much consideration. Ultimately, the TriPride Board decided to postpone the event for three primary reasons: the overall community and the host cities of Bristol deserve a Pride event of equal caliber to the previous two events; as a community-funded event – through donations, sponsorships, and grants – organizers realized fundraising challenges considering the economic impact of Covid-19; and most importantly, protecting the health and well-being of the event participants considering the need for social distancing which is expected to continue throughout the summer.
Organizers remain committed to bringing the TriPride Parade and Festival to the sister cities of Bristol. The cities’ planning partners understand and support the postponement decision, and have expressed enthusiasm about picking up planning for the event as soon as it can be held safely.
Organizers are considering options for a smaller event, or series of small events, to celebrate Pride if it is safe to do so. Other considerations are for virtual events.
“Pride is more than a parade or festival, though that has certainly become one of the primary ways to show your pride in the LGBTQ+ community,” said Jason Willis, TriPride’s Marketing Director. “Pride is not going away and we look forward to hosting TriPride in our community as soon as it is safe to do so.”
TriPrideTN, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charity formed in 2017 whose purpose is to organize and present a free community LGBTQ+ pride parade and festival. The parade and festival event are the primary tools the organization uses to further its mission: building a stronger and more inclusive community across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. In September 2018, TriPride held the first annual TriPride Parade and Festival — the first of its kind in the Tri-Cities — hosted in Founders Park, Johnson City, Tennessee. Over 10,000 people gathered for the festivities. The parade featured the largest contingency in Johnson City’s history. In 2019, TriPride was held in downtown Kingsport, Tennessee. An estimated 10,000 came to the event throughout the day. Over 1,100 people marched in the parade representing 72 contingencies and 110 festival exhibitors were present.