BURLINGTON — All the colors of the rainbow arrived in downtown Burlington for Alamance County’s fourth-annual Pride festival.
ROY G. BIV encircled the festival with rainbow flags that united people of different genders, sexualities and complexions. The festival, held on Oct. 6, hosted performances from drag queens and the Triad Pride Performing Arts. Food trucks and local businesses and organizations were also in attendance to connect with the community.
Jordan Thompson, a 23-year-old resident of Mebane, greatly enjoyed his first Pride festival.
“This is perfect, really.” Thompson said Alamance Pride was “... Great! So many colors. I got necklaces, buttons, stickers. I got tested … so I’m HIV clear, you know, it’s always nice. But it’s really great. Great music, great stands, great fun, man. It’s nice people and everything.”
Just like Thompson, Elon University senior Stefanie Milovic was "super pumped" to be at the festival.
“I really appreciate the fact that Alamance Pride has put this on now for the fourth year. I know the first year was very difficult in terms of protesters,” Milovic said. “But now being able to see how it's come together, how even though we have a little bit of an overcast day, you still see so many people out there ranging from students at Elon to all members of the community, all varying ages, races, sexual orientations … it's just incredible to ... see a group of people come together from across all types of demographic lines.”
Milovic attended the festival not only for the fun of it, but also to promote her preferred political candidate for North Carolina's Senate. The democratic candidate, a former veteran, is running to represent District 24 on a platform of inclusion.
“One of our top priorities for the platform is equality for all, and seeing as North Carolina doesn't have the best track record as far as the LGBTQIA community, we want to make sure to show our support here, as well as to really try to encourage, especially young voters, but every kind of voter, to be able to get out there to vote and make their voice heard. That way, we can fight for equality," Milovic said.
But beyond her political beliefs, seeing the community come together was Milovic's highlight.
“Just seeing how many different businesses, organizations, advocacy groups and just individuals who are out there supporting, it really is incredible,” Milovic said. “It was great seeing how many of them are wearing either rainbow flags, different kinds of flags and just representing almost every kind of gender and sexual orientation out there. And so it's really inspiring to be able to see that.”