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Shelby Pride Festival 2023: Welcome


Queer Pride in Shelby, NC

We are so excited to celebrate queer love and pride in this rural corner of North Carolina! Starting from the first #ShelbyLovesPride Picnic held at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer on Friday, June 27, 2014, our festival is an extension of the chapter begun in 2016 by former presidents Paul Ditz and continued by Galaxy Linberger of Shelby, NC, local residents who initiated the start of what we now call Shelby Pride. This chapter meant a lot to a town who struggled with a history of violence and isolation of queer folkx. We are thrilled to announce that we achieved an official nonprofit status this summer, and that we are hosting the first ever Shelby Pride Festival in our beloved Uptown Shelby! This festival we hope will be the first of an annual tradition, where the LGBTQIA+ community and allies in Cleveland County can embrace who they are openly in the rural South. Our event is accessible and available to all who wish to celebrate with us!

Event Details

Location: Shelby Court Square

103 S. Lafayette Street, Shelby NC

Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m.

When: October 14, 2023

Volunteer Information

We are accepting applications for volunteers until September 22! If you would like to serve at the festival, you can access our Volunteer Application here. We will be sending out instructions and swag closer to the date of the festival - be on the lookout for updates from Shelby Pride! 

Vendor Information 

We are accepting applications for vendors until September 22! If you wish to have a table at our event (no cost!), please submit your Vendor Application here

Shelby Pride Festival Zone

You can access a small map of our vendors here after Sept. 22!

Restaurants to Visit (and Bathrooms!)

Because we are a small festival in a rural town, we intentionally held our festival Uptown in the hopes that visitors will try out the tasty delights Shelby has to offer. Here’s a list of possible restaurants, breweries, coffee, sweet treats, and more for you to visit! We also encourage you to purchase goods from these local businesses for purposes of using their restroom facilities, too. We want to put the appreciation of Shelby back into the hands of those who live here!

Newgrass Brewery 

LilyBean Coffee & Creamery

Hive Coffee 

Toscanos Bistro

Pfeiffer Cafe & Confections

Pleasant City Wood Fired Grill 

Jbird’s Deli & Ales

Mi Pueblitos Mexican Restaurant

El Acapulco Mexican Restaurant

Shelby Cafe

Izzi’Que Barbeque

Power Up Nutrition

Enchanted Bakehouse

Where can I find parking?

There is free parking on the Grand Street, across from Bell Pavilion, Morgan Street, and parking around the square. EV charging is available in Shelby, too. 

Are pets allowed?

Yes! All pets must be leashed and accompanied by an owner. 

Safety Information

We want all our visitors to stay safe! If you encounter protestors or anyone behaving threateningly towards you, here’s some recommendations: 

  • Use the buddy system.

  • See something? Say something.

  • Protect your identity and cell phone. 

  • DO NOT ENGAGE WITH PROTESTORS if at all possible.

Shelby Pride has notified our local police department of our event and are hopeful that disruptions will be minimal. However, please feel free to reach out to a staff or Shelby Pride Leadership member at any time throughout the festival. We will have tshirts identifying us as either STAFF or VOLUNTEER. 

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