Source: Knoxville Pride

Y'all Means All for Knoxville Pride

Roger Porter READ TIME: 5 MIN.

At the head of the Tennessee River and the foot of the Smoky Mountains lies Knoxville, a southern city wears its pride on its sleeve. Because for Knoxville – situated in Eastern Tennessee – diversity and inclusivity are as much a part of the community as barbecue and tailgates.

Look no further than Knox Pride and SoKno Pride for demonstrations of inclusivity – celebrations that bring Knoxville's LGBTQIA+ community and loved ones together for thrilling events, delicious bites and raucous entertainment. Throw on your Pride outfit with a splash of glitter because Knoxville is bringing you the best Pride experience – southern style!

Enjoy Knox Pride

Although Knox Pride Fest isn't until October 6, it's never too early to talk up how fun it is for locals and visitors alike. Kicking off the festivities is a Pride Parade down Gay Street complete with floats, dancers, and revelers making their way through downtown. The party continues the next day with live performances and entertainment at nearby World's Fair Park.

Drawing nearly 80,000 participants each year, Knox Pride Fest engages the entire community across local businesses and organizations, and support even comes from churches and their organizations. But Pride Fest and the Parade are just part of the picture! The Knox Pride Community and Resource Center is open year-round and offers support, resources, and opportunities for social engagement, including support groups, Queer Cinema Club, game nights, a food pantry and a clothing closet, and much more.

With June on the horizon, the official Pride month, Knox Pride hosts a number of exciting events that continue on through the summer and into the fall. Don't miss the Knox Pride Sunday Market, a collection of over 30 local queer and POC vendors offering an eclectic mix of goods. The market runs the first Sunday of every month from 12-4 p.m. at the Knox Pride Community and Resource Center and Sam Duff Park.

Also at the park is movie night on Sunday June 4, bringing the community together for queer cinema everyone can enjoy. Stick around the Pride Center for Karaoke and Open Stage Drag Nights, a bodacious party filled with food and entertainment for drag enthusiasts every Wednesday night.

Speaking of drag queens, enjoy the biggest and brightest Knoxville queens at the Pride Drag Brunch on Sunday, June 11 and close out Pride Month in style at the first Mx. Knox Pride 365! Pageant on Sunday, June 25. Check out the Knox Pride website for the full list of year-round events and information to stay in the loop.

SoKno Pride: Knoxville's Hidden Gem

The word is getting out about SoKno Pride, a special Pride celebration in the Old Sevier District in South Knoxville. What started as a drag show brunch on Sevier Avenue a few years ago has grown into a full-blown soiree with a singular mission at heart: Bring together and support the local queer community. "SoKno Pride was officially established as a charitable organization (501c3), and its profits are donated to non-profit organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community and promote racial equality."

The main event is SoKno Pride on June 10, featuring a festival atmosphere with vendors and performers all along Sevier Avenue, plus plenty of activities for all ages to enjoy, like the Pride Fun Run and Pride Yoga in the park on the morning of the event.

While you're on the South side, pop into South Press Coffee for a true "pick me up" – always poured with acceptance for all queer and trans friends. Spots like these, and others, offer a welcoming spirit for Knoxville's LGBTQIA+ community and visitors.

Out on the Town

When you've finished with Pride events, stroll over to Market Square, the Old City and historic Gay Street for queer-friendly restaurants, shopping, museums, galleries, and attractions for big-city dining and entertainment in a small-city package.

Plan Your Visit

Knoxville is at the forefront of a friendly and inclusive southern city for queers of every stripe. With Knox Pride, SoKno Pride and the surrounding town, you'll have the time of your life celebrating with exciting events and parties, cookouts and adventures. Visit the official Visit Knoxville website for the latest updates and to plan your Pride experience.

by Roger Porter

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