You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
top story

Our picks: 10 Charleston Pride events, from a gay history tour to the parade

  • Updated
Charleston Pride festival horizontal (copy)

The Charleston Pride Festival will follow the Saturday morning parade. File/Michael Campina/Special to The Post and Courier

Charleston Pride Week is back in its tenth year with a variety of rainbow-studded events from Sept. 7-14. Here are some of the highlights celebrating the local LGBTQ+ community. 

Takeover Charleston

7-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 | Taco Boy, 217 Huger St., downtown | Free

Takeover Charleston is celebrating 10 years with a drag show, Mexican food, margaritas and beats by DJ Trevor D at the downtown Taco Boy. This is the official Pride Week kickoff. 

Real Rainbow Row Tour

3-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8 | 18 Anson St., Bulldog Tours, downtown | $15

This two-hour walking tour explores Charleston's rich, gay history and current LGBTQ+ community. $5 of each ticket sale goes to the LGBTQ+ history archive at the College of Charleston.

The Charleston Pride Parade (copy)

Chris Weik and Harrison Dahabi of Rocky Horror Charleston marched in the Charleston Pride Parade in 2017. File/Michael Campina/Special to The Post and Courier

Family Night

3-8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9 | Equality Hub, 1801 Reynolds Ave., North Charleston | Free

Mini photography sessions, snacks and refreshments and a family movie night await at this Pride event for the whole family (given or chosen). 

LGBTQ+ Trivia

7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 | Snafu Brewing Company, 3280 Industry Drive, North Charleston | Free

Tuesday night's trivia topics will range from local LGBTQ+ history to queer pop culture, and the top three teams will win some prizes.

Out for Art

5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11 | Miller Gallery, 149 1/2 East Bay St., downtown | Free

This special exhibit featuring LGBTQ+ artists includes works by Jo Hay, followed by a screening of the documentary "She is Juiced" and a Q&A with Hay and filmmaker Lois Norman. 

Criminal Justice Panel Discussion

7-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 | Hollings Science Center, Room 101, 58 Coming St., downtown | Free

Get educated at this panel with the ACLU, which will feature discussions about civil liberties issues affecting LGBTQ+ people. Special guest Timothy Wilcots, better known as Latrice Royale from "RuPaul Drag Race," will share a story about experiencing the criminal justice system as an LGBTQ+ person of color. 

The Charleston Pride Parade (copy)

The Charleston Pride Parade will wind downtown from Wragg Mall to Colonial Lake on Saturday. File/Michael Campina/Special to The Post and Courier


8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 | Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St., downtown | $15, $10 with discount code chspride

If you're ready to laugh, head to this show featuring LGBTQ+ stand-up comedians. The headliner is Austin, Texas, comic Ky Krebs, your host is Columbia's Jenn Snyder, and other featured funny people are Shawna Jarrett, Julie Osborne, Ava Smartt and Shaine Laine. 

Pride Parade & Festival

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 | Parade: Wragg Mall to Colonial Lake, Festival: Brittlebank Park, 185 Lockwood Dr., downtown | Free

If you go to just one Pride event, make it this one. It's the crux of Pride Week, with a parade full of colorful floats that kicks off at 9 a.m. at the Wragg Mall and makes its way to Colonial Lake. The festival will then take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Brittlebank Park, with vendors, food trucks, beer, wine and liquor and entertainment.

The headliner is "American Idol" singer, YouTube sensation, "Ru Paul's Drag Race" choreographer and "Kinky Boots" Broadway star Todrick Hall. There will also be beats by DJ Beck Danger and special performances by The Emperor and Empress of Charleston Pride 2019. The emcee is Patti 'O Furniture. You can bring tents, chairs and pets but no coolers. All-day parking is available at the Joe Riley Stadium lot for $5, and a courtesy shuttle will run from the Visitor's Center Lot to Brittlebank Park from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Charleston Pride Parade (copy)

Lisa Clayton, Tanya Christopher and Kat Goldbert march in the Charleston Pride Parade. File/Michael Campina/Special to The Post and Courier

Prism Party

7-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 | Charleston Bus Shed & Visitors Center, 375 Meeting St., downtown | $15 advance, $20 door

At parties throughout the year, Charleston Pride "painted the town" every color of the rainbow. Now, those colors will come together for the ultimate Charleston Pride Prism Party to close out the week. 

Last Call After Party

11 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 | Music Farm, 32 Ann St., downtown | $15 advance, $20 door

The party doesn't stop at 11 p.m., though. After leaving the Prism Party, head across the street to Music Farm for the official after party of Charleston Pride, featuring Symone N. O'Bishop, Latrice Royale and the Queens of Charleston. 

For a full list of Charleston Pride Week events, visit

Plus, 3 Charleston Black Pride Events

Charleston Black Pride, a separate local organization that exists to specifically support the black LGBTQ+ community, is hosting a few events that coincide with the Charleston Pride organization's Pride Week. Here they are. 

The Charleston Pride Parade (copy)

Shante Savage at the Charleston Pride Parade in 2017. File/Michael Campina/Special to The Post and Courier

Pride Meet & Greet Reception

6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 | Upstairs at Ink & Ivy, 565 King St., downtown

At this event, there will be live performances from Black Girl Magic and Phoenix Dickerson Braxton. The master of ceremony will be Lady J. A $10 donation is suggested. 

Charleston Black Pride Jump-Off

10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 | Bossez Lounge, 3719 St. John Ave., North Charleston

This stoplight party (where single people wear green, "it's complicated" folks wear yellow and wifed-up boos wear red) is an official Charleston Black Pride event. It's dubbed the "Traffic Jam Edition." Lukas Swing and DJ Fingaz will perform, and Trent is the host. There will be drink specials, and those 18 and older are invited to come dance it up. 

Sunday Brunch: Pride Edition

11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15 | Charleston Sports Pub, 1124 Sam Rittenburg Blvd., West Ashley

You can "chat 'n' chew with the crew" at Charleston Sports Pub on Sunday morning. This Black Pride events will include casual conversation and, of course, mimosas. 

Get a weekly list of tips on pop-ups, last minute tickets and little-known experiences hand-selected by our newsroom in your inbox each Thursday.

Reach Kalyn Oyer at 843-371-4469. Follow her on Twitter @sound_wavves.

Kalyn Oyer is a Charleston native who covers arts & entertainment and food & bev for The Post and Courier. She's a music festival & concert photographer and used to write about music for the Charleston City Paper, among other publications.