Charlotte Bracing for Pride Festival Crowd

estimated 200,000 people to pack Uptown

CHARLOTTE, NC — Charlotte is bracing for what’s expected to be the largest pride festival in the city’s history. Charlotte Pride expects an estimated 200,000 people to pack six blocks in Uptown Saturday through Sunday.

“It’s almost unfathomable,” said Eric Burke.

It’s Burke’s 12th Charlotte Pride week. This time, the city labeled it an extraordinary event, citing security concerns, using more police officers than ever before after the Orlando night club tragedy and the controversy over House Bill Two.

“We know that there are legitimate concerns in the community from all angles,” said Charlotte Pride Spokesperson Matt Comer.

Comer says directors worked with CMPD throughout the week to anticipate any violence. By Friday evening, Charlotte Pride says there were no credible threats reported to police.

“This is gong to be a wonderful space for people to come together in support and solidarity and celebration,” said Comer.

The biggest concern for residents is traffic and closed roads.

To see a list of road closures, click here.

To see a parking map, click here.

“The traffic is hard getting in and out,” said Uptown Resident Dean Papa. “So, we will sometimes leave for the weekend or plan around it, but the people are great. That’s all we care about: making sure everyone is safe and having a good time.”

Last year, Charlotte Pride says 120,000 spectators made an $11.9 million economic impact on Charlotte.

This year, there are more corporate sponsors. Parade entries are up 10 percent to more than 140 groups and 3,500 people marching.