(Update) OutRaleigh: Saturday, May 14, WAS Raleigh's big day | Citizen
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Monday, May 16, 2011

(Update) OutRaleigh: Saturday, May 14, WAS Raleigh's big day

Posted by on Mon, May 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM

outraleighjpg.jpg

[Update, May 16: I wasn't able to get there on Saturday before the torrential rains came and washed the last couple of hours out. Heard great things from people who did get there. Anyway, someone on Facebook (?) asked for a followup — how'd everything go? This note, sent to all the vendors/sponsors/friends by one of the organizers, contains the answer to that question —


Thank you all for such an amazing, historic festival! We were told over a year ago that this wasn't possible - to have a LGBT festival that focuses on celebrating the many diverse families within our community. With a dedicated KidsZone, we set out from the first day of planning to welcome all families and show a different side of our LGBT community than is typically celebrated at pride festivals. We wanted to bring forth a festival that celebrated both our immediate family of partners, parents, children, and siblings, as well as our extended family of friends and allies.

Many believed we would be lucky to see 1,000 attendees in this first year festival; not only did we surpass that, we flew past that within the first hour of the festival!!! With your tremendous support, even with having to end the festival 2 hours earlier than planned due to rain, we had over 6,000 attendees! There were so many children present that we ran out of community art supplies after only a few hours into the festival! With Raleigh recently ranking as having the third-highest percentage of same-sex couples with children among metropolitan areas across the US, we are confident this festival will grow larger every year.

This could not have happened without your support. I would like to share a very small subset of feedback in relation to the festival:

(Day of the festival): ""My husband and I will be bringing our soon to be 7 year old daughter. She is looking forward to seeing fabulous drag queens in person! We are looking forward to supporting ALL family types!!"

After the festival:

"My family and I visited Raleigh today for the OutRaleigh Day. It was a very nice festival. Everyone was pleasant and respectful (with the exception of the protesters). Thanks for having an outing that our daughter could feel totally accepted at...it was worth the drive from Winston-Salem."

“From all of us at Crape Myrtle Festival, Congratulations on such a well done and successful weekend. We all had such a great time. We are so proud of you and Raleigh. Can hardly wait for next year!”

“Amazing to see everyone who came out for this weekend's OutRaleigh! The first-ever festival ended up with over 6,000 attendees—many of whom signed on with Equality NC's campaign to fight the proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment.”

“THANK YOU so much for letting us be a part of a WONDERFUL day and having so much fun doing it!! I so look forward to the second one next year!! EVERYONE was AWESOME!!!”

“Had an awesome time today! Lets make sure this continues every year!”

“Very well organized event. Great entertainment. Had a great time. Thanks for finally bringing it to Raleigh!”

“Great sponsors, great booths, great performers, great food.....can't wait for the next festival!”

We hope that you all continue to support this wonderful festival and the LGBT Center of Raleigh into the coming years. We are very thankful for your support this past year and look forward to building upon this relationship into future years. Many pictures of the festival are available on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/OutRaleigh - we will post on our website within the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Mitch Null, on behalf of the OutRaleigh Committee
Chair, OutRaleigh
OutRaleigh@lgbtcenterofraleigh.com
[bcc: all sponsors, performers, and vendors - please feel free to forward to others]

***


The original post follows --

Homophobia, begone! Mayor Charles Meeker, WRAL's Pam Saulsby and other dignitaries will be in City Plaza Saturday for the first, hopefully annual OutRaleigh festival. The days of canceling "La Cage Aux Folles" ("The Birdcage") because it might give Raleigh the vapors are s-o-o-o last centuy. Out with the old, and Out as the new, inclusive Raleigh.

(Did not know the Indy was a sponsor until I clicked on the OutRaleigh website just now. Good for us. Did have the chance, on First Friday, to drop in at the new LGBT Center of Raleigh office on Hillsborough Street — a big step up from the vestibule they formerly occupied on Cabarrus. The new place is around the corner from the Flying Saucer on the south side of Hillsborough. Again, good.)

Copying the schedule of events after the jump —

From the OutRaleigh website, and they expect to add some events to this:


Thursday, May 12

FLEX NIGHT CLUB: Trailer Park Prize Night, Flex Night Club - "Kings & Queen Bowling League" Rebirth Party! Hosted by Winnie Baygo, singing queen Chasity - come meet & greet with current bowlers and learn about this fun league! www.flex-club.com

Friday, May 13

BUSY BEE CAFE: 6:30-8:30pm - The OutRaleigh Happy Hour at Busy Bee Café hosts LGBT professional women and all members of our community. Come meet and greet as we kick off OutRaleigh. 225 S Wilmington St, Raleigh.

313 RALEIGH: Join Kevin O'Barr and Greg Moore on our piano stage for an evening of fun from 8pm til 1030pm. Midnight Drag Show to follow with muisc by DJ Robert

LEGENDS NIGHT CLUB: The Legendary Impersonator Lawanda Jackson from Houston, TX! Incredible impersonations of Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, and Tina Turner! Showtimes at 10pm, 12am, 1am

OutRaleigh Festival: Saturday, May 14; 10am - 7pm

See "Festival Schedule" page for details of performers

Saturday, May 14 Post-Festival Events:

NC THEATRE: Hello Dolly; 8pm, Raleigh Memorial Auditorium; Click here for discounted rates!

FLEX NIGHT CLUB: Kendall; 8pm, Performance; 10pm, Meet & Greet

313 RALEIGH: An evening with Pam Saulsby from 8pm til 11pm. Midnight Drag Show to follow with music by DJ Jordi

LEGENDS NIGHT CLUB: The Legendary Impersonator Lawanda Jackson from Houston, TX! Incredible impersonations of Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, and Tina Turner! Showtimes at 10pm, 12am, 1am

Sunday, May 15:

LEGENDS NIGHT CLUB: The Legendary Impersonator Lawanda Jackson from Houston, TX! Incredible impersonations of Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, and Tina Turner! Showtime at 12am.

313 RALEIGH: Drag Bingo with Mary K Mart at 10pm!

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