The 2011 Charleston Pride Festival will return to Park Circle and North Charleston’s Riverfront Park with three days of events, capped off by a Pride parade, rally, and after-party on May 14.

Across the country, Pride rallies are held in support of the gay and lesbian community. Last year’s inaugural local event attracted more than 4,000 people.

For 2011, local drag favorite Brooke Collins will be the grand marshal for the Park Circle parade. The rally at Riverfront Park will include musical performances and speakers, including Warren Redman-Gress of the local nonprofit Alliance for Full Acceptance and Elke Kennedy, who became an advocate for hate crimes legislation after losing her son in a well-publicized hate crime in Greenville in 2007.

This year’s festival will also include an art walk on Thurs. May 12 at Park Circle restaurants and bars, as well as film screenings at the Olde Village Picture House. There will be a Pride drag pageant at the American Theater in downtown Charleston on Fri. May 13. Pride will host an after-party at 10 Storehouse Row on Sat. May 14.

“We want the entire community to embrace this event, come together to celebrate Pride, and to support one another,” says Rob King, entertainment director for the festival.

For more info, visit And keep checking back here for regular updates on musical performers, speakers, and more heading up to the event.

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