TRI-CITIES, Tennessee – The 2021 TriPride Parade and Festival will be held in downtown Bristol – in both Tennessee and Virginia – on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. The annual event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite that setback, organizers are committed to hosting the event in Bristol this year.
In addition to being a first for Bristol, the TriPride Parade and Festival marks a first in national history: a pride event held in two states at once. TriPride in Bristol will take place in both Tennessee and Virginia. The parade will go down State Street and culminate with the festival held in Cumberland Square Park in Virginia.
Organizers admit there are still many unknowns regarding COVID-19 but are excited about hosting the event in Bristol.
“We are so happy to bring our annual event to Bristol in 2021 and excited we can pick up where we had to stop last year,” said Jason Willis, TriPride board president. “There are certainly unique challenges and plenty of unknowns when planning the parade and festival during a global pandemic. We don’t know what the landscape will look like in October of 2021, but we’re planning for, and hoping for, the best!”
Organizers emphasize if COVID-19 is still an active health concern in October, the parade and festival will be postponed to the following year.
“TriPride and our partners in Bristol, Tenn. and Bristol, Va. are committed to the health and safety of our community,” Willis added. “If there is still a COVID-19 health threat in the fall, we will do what’s best for our community and cancel the event. All exhibitors and vendors will be refunded 100 percent and sponsors will be given the choice of a refund or to hold their sponsorship to the next year’s event.”
Although some elements will change, TriPride organizers are keeping a similar format to the previous years’ events, including a series of activities during Pride week that lead up to the parade and festival on Saturday. Live entertainment, vendors, exhibitors, and food trucks will be present. The parade and festival will take place in the heart of downtown Bristol and will be free to the public.
TriPride is accepting volunteer applications, sponsorships, and parade and festival exhibitor applications online at tripridetn.org/pride2021. Potential sponsors may email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive more information about 2021 sponsorship opportunities or visit tripridetn.org/become-a-sponsor.
For more information, to become involved, or to donate, see the organization’s website at www.TriPrideTN.org or follow TriPride on social media.
About TriPride: TriPrideTN, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charity formed in 2017 whose purpose is to organize and present a free community Pride parade and festival. The parade and festival 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. In September 2018, TriPride held the Pride 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. The 2020 TriPride Parade and Festival, originally scheduled for August 29, 2020 in Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.