Bristol, VA

Twin Cities Welcome Tri-Pride with Parade and Festival in Downtown Bristol This Month

John M. Dabbs

Bristol will host its first city-wide public Pride Parade and Festival in the twin cities on August 27, 2022. Tri-Pride is making history as it holds a parade, presented by CITI, down State Street in Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia. CITI has been the sponsor of the parade since 2018. The event will be the first Pride event in the U.S. to occur in two states at the same time. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. The festival is scheduled to begin immediately after the parade - around 12:00 p.m. at Cumberland Square Park in Bristol, Virginia.

Festival

The TriPride Festival, presented by Eastman, is billed as an open LGBTQ event that is appropriate for people of all ages. The festival features live performances, vendors and exhibitors, health services, food trucks, beer and liquor sales. Previous festivals held in Johnson City (2018) and Kingsport (2019) were successful events with attendees estimated at over 10,000. The Bristol festival (third of the tri-cities) was cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021. Tri-Pride says "the third time's the charm!" and expection a great turnout.

The Tri-Pride Parade is open to the public, but the festival requires patrons to get thier FREE tickets to enter the festival grounds. The reason for attendee ticketing (even though it's free) is to provide an accurate count of attendees, and to gain a better understanding of the community participating. Tri-Pride organizers hope this will also enable local officials to deal with protestors and disruptions within the festival grounds.

Cost

Tickets are available here online, and they're free. You'll also be able to get them at the security gates on the day of the event if you wish to remain anonymous. This option precludes the need to register for your ticket.

When you get to the gate, a Tri-Pride volunteer will scan your ticket. By signing up, you agree to follow the security guidelines and Tri-Pride's expectations for attendees. In short - respect others, have fun, and be supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.

Entertainment

The 2022 Tri-Pride Festival Host and MC will be A.B. Farrelly. A.B. is a trans actor, writer and comedian seen on “Netflix is a Joke” Comedy festival and on NBC’s “This is Us.”

Entertainment will also be provided by:

  • Tyler Stephens
  • Demon Waffle
  • Beth Snapp
  • TJ Darnell
  • Tyler Hughes
  • Knoxville Gay Mens Chorus
  • Local Drag Queens and Kings
  • DJ Chubby & More

Over 100 exibitors and vendors will be on site for the festival, including variety of food trucks to meet about anyone's culinary delights. Free water bottles will be distributed by Tri-Pride organizers.

Expectations

The Festival is designed for all ages and to provide a fun environment. The event celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and thier allies. With passionate topics, summer heat, and alcohol flowing, people may become difficult at times. Should a Tri-Pride staffer or a security partner not the involved parties to walk away and enjoy themselves, they will be escort them (one or both parties) out. Please see that you and your friends conduct yourselves amicably.

The only animals permitted inside the Festival grounds are Service Animals during the festival.

Security

Festival organizers have scaled up the venue's security as if it were a large concert. Attendees should expect the same precautions as they would encounter at any large event - including metal detector screening at the gates.

Prohibited items: See the Tri-Pride website for a list of prohibited items.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Bristol, TN
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