It’s nice to see the dykes on bikes and the gorgeous drag queens, but the best part of Pride this weekend was the straight (but not narrow) ladies of the Lowcountry Highrollers. With rainbow flags hoisted into the air, the roller girls launched Charleston’s first pride rally at North Charleston’s Riverfront Park.

Organizers counted more than 300 participants in the parade down Montague Avenue, including local open-door churches, area gay-straight student organizations, and community nonprofits like the Alliance for Full Acceptance.

More than 2,000 were estimated at the rally (many seeking shade under the picnic shelter and a few trees). Musical performers, including The Dirty Martinis and Danielle Howle, volunteered their time for the event and shared the stage with inspirational speakers, including Greenville’s Elke Kennedy, whose son was killed in what is believed to have been a hate crime.

The event included local and national vendors like American Apparel, Starbucks, and Morris Nissan embracing their gay customers. The best part of the day for us wasn’t at the parade or the rally, it was at the grocery store hours later when we saw a guy wearing one of the rainbow arm bands seen at the rally. The hope at these events is that the pride keeps going. Mission accomplished.