OUT! Raleigh Pride Festival goes virtual due to COVID-19 pandemic

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The sights and sounds of the OUT! Raleigh Pride Festival never disappoints, but this year will look much different.

"I think that we've got a really good line up of programming and events happening," said Kori Hennessey, LGBT Center of Raleigh.

In May, the LGBT Center of Raleigh decided to postpone the OUT! Raleigh Pride Festival. Now, three months, later it became clear an in-person festival wouldn't be feasible.

"This year has made us think about what are the most important things, and really we haven't thought about this, but what does pride mean and why do we do this every year?" Hennessey said.

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This year, the OUT! Raleigh Pride Festival goes virtual, taking the best parts of the festival and sharing them with others from the safety of their own home. Through Facebook Live, streaming on YouTube and even Zoom, there will be virtual dance parties and events but this year they'll get to really focus on education and reaching a broader audience.

"Being able to reach people outside of the triangle, outside of North Carolina, even outside of the U.S. So that's been really exciting and very powerful in so many ways," Hennessey said.

The celebration will continue this year all while looking forward to next year.

"Fingers crossed everything is good, because it's a very different feel to having an online festival versus in person," Hennessey said.

The virtual events begin Friday and last through Sunday. If you'd like to join or learn more about the festival, click here.
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