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An eco­nomic study of the 2014 Char­lotte Pride Fes­ti­val & Pa­rade showed the week­end event brought in more than $7.75 mil­lion in to­tal eco­nomic im­pact to the city from outof-town guests, in­clud­ing $2.49 mil­lion in la­bor in­come.

The study, com­mis­sioned by the Char­lotte Re­gional Visi­tors Au­thor­ity, tracked visi­tors who trav­eled 50 miles or more to Char­lotte Pride and is the first pro­fes­sional study per­formed for a lo­cal LGBT event in the Char­lotte re­gion. More than 100,000 peo­ple at­tended last year’s Pride fest, ac­cord­ing to or­ga­niz­ers.

“The LGBTQ com­mu­nity in Char­lotte and our sur­round­ing re­gion con­trib­ute greatly to the con­tin­ued eco­nomic growth and suc­cess of the Queen City,” said Char­lotte Pride Co-Di­rec­tor Richard Grim­stad in a state­ment. “As Char­lotte Pride en­ters its 15th con­sec­u­tive year, we do so know­ing that our event has be­come both a so­cial and eco­nomic main­stay for the city we call home.”

Among the sur­vey’s and study’s find­ings:

Of the more than 10,500 out-of-town visi­tors, nearly 81 per­cent stayed overnight in Char­lotte, with 68 per­cent of those visi­tors stay­ing at lo­cal ho­tels.

June 26, 2015

More than 77 per­cent of fes­ti­val at­ten­dees also at­tended the pa­rade.

The av­er­age visi­tor spent more than $460 per per­son while vis­it­ing the city.

The av­er­age length of stay of overnight visi­tors was 1.7 nights and in­cluded 3.4 peo­ple.

The largest amount of spend­ing was lodg­ing, fol­lowed by food, bev­er­age and re­tail.

More than 62 per­cent of at­ten­dees spent their dol­lars shop­ping, with more than 61 per­cent spend­ing dol­lars on lo­cal din­ing.

Di­ver­sity is also high­lighted in the 2014 sur­vey. Re­sults show:

53 per­cent of at­ten­dees were fe­male. 45 per­cent of at­ten­dees were male. Two per­cent of at­ten­dees were trans­gen­der. 16 per­cent iden­ti­fied as straight. 10 per­cent iden­ti­fied as bi­sex­ual. 33 per­cent iden­ti­fied as les­bian. 41 per­cent iden­ti­fied as gay. Nearly 20 per­cent of at­ten­dees were peo­ple of color.

Char­lotte Pride be­gan as a small fes­ti­val in 2001. In 2011, the fest at­tracted 25,000 visi­tors; in 2012, the event be­came a two-day cel­e­bra­tion and was held one week be­fore the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion. That year, more than 45,000 visi­tors flocked to Char-

Char­lotte Pride Fes­ti­val & Pa­rade

Aug. 15-16 char­lot­ lotte to show their pride. In 2013, Char­lotte Pride hosted the first lo­cal Pride pa­rade in nearly two decades, with more than 40,000 visi­tors watch­ing the pa­rade and more than 80,000 visi­tors at­tend­ing the ac­com­pa­ny­ing two-day fes­ti­val that week­end.

En­ter­tain­ment lineup—so far

More than 100,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend this year’s fes­ti­val set for Aug. 15-16.

The en­ter­tain­ment lineup so far in­cludes per­for­mances by the Pranc­ing Elites, the stars of an Oxy­gen Media hit TV show, “The Pranc­ing Elites Pro­ject.”

The five mem­bers of this African-Amer­i­can, gay and gen­der non-con­form­ing J-Sette team gained na­tional recog­ni­tion first through YouTube and then on the TV talk show cir­cuit be­fore be­ing picked up by Oxy­gen to star in a re­al­ity TV se­ries. And while they have gained a na­tional fol­low­ing, it is in their home­town of Mo­bile, Alabama, where they con­tinue to face dis­crim­i­na­tion and big­otry. The Pranc­ing Elites have played nu­mer­ous Pride fests, in­clud­ing this year’s New York Pride be­ing held June 26-28.

The Pranc­ing Elites will be per­form­ing at this year’s Char­lotte Pride set for Aug. 15-16. (Photo via Oxy­gen Media)

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