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Embracing Rainbows

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Since the passing of Amendment One, North Carolina has been stereotyped by the nation as an “anti-gay” state. Wilmingtonians will prove that’s far from true as they celebrate Wilmington’s 5th annual Pride, a week of recognition and festivities taking place through the 14th. In support of our GLBTQIA (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexed and ally) community, all colors of the rainbow will fly among a host of events, which stand for solidarity and support for everyone in our town, regardless of background, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, religion or creed.

Once sponsored by OutWilmington, local organization Wilmington Pride now hosts the festival, continuing its dedication to supporting members of the GLBTQIA community. Since November 2011, citizens have been advocating rights and encouraging others to speak out about equality in New Hanover and surrounding counties.

“The goal of Pride is to become visible in the community, to bring awareness to Wilmington and show that we exist—and we’re not going anywhere,” T.R. Nunley, president of Wilmington Pride, says. According to Nunley, the organizers of Pride consist of the same members who recently put on events to stop a proposition from discriminating against families and individual rights.

“We spent a lot of money trying to stop Amendment One,” Nunley says, “so the way we are handling [Pride] is a little different this year. People are donating their talents more than their time.”

The GLBTQIA community isn’t letting the Amendment One issue get them down. They are determined to make this year as colorfully enriching as any. “I think [Pride] will be a lot more positive,” Nunley notes. “People are seeking connections. [The passing of Amendment One] puts us further backwards; we will continue to try and further seek connections with people.”

As their motto goes, “pass or fail, we will prevail!”, while Pride 2012 won’t see traditional events such as the T-dance, there will be plenty of other activities underway, like karaoke, dance parties, concerts and festivals. Here is look at what’s ahead this week:

Thursday, June 7th

Kick-Off Party and Silent Auction, 7-10 p.m.
Projekte, 523 S. 3rd St. • Free

Pride kicks off with a bang at downtown gallery Projekte, Wilmington’s hip hideaway for visual and performing arts. Folks can enjoy craft beer or coffee while enjoying live entertainment by acoustic soloist and instrumentalist Susan Savia. Items will be up for grabs in a silent auction with monies benefitting Wilmington Pride.

Karaoke with DJ Scott, 10 p.m.- 2 a.m. • Free
The Toolbox Bar, 2325 Burnett Ave.
After the kick-off party, the night will continue at The Toolbox, one of Wilmington’s premier gay bars. Folks can enjoy a cocktail and sing along to karaoke with Wilmington’s own DJ Scott.

Friday, June 8th

Pink Sheep Film Festival, 7 p.m. • Free
City Stage, 21 N. Front St.
$12 in advance/ $15 at the door
Afterparty at Soapbox, 255 N. Front St.
11 p.m.-2 a.m.
See page 22 for full story on Pink Sheep. After the film fest, folks can dance into the night with live performances by Noon:30, an alternative rock band based out of Brooklyn, and Play/Start, Portland’s “make you want to get your dance on” indie-rock group.

Music Madness, 10 p.m.- 2 a.m. • Free
The Toolbox, 2325 Burnette Ave.
DJ Konversion will spin hypnotic beats and drinks will be served all night long.

Saturday, June 9th

Potluck Picnic, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. • Free
Greenfield Lake, 3rd St. and Greenfield St.
All families and allies are welcome to Greenfield Lake for a picnic. Bring a covered dish and enjoy the natural surroundings, mingling and paddle-boating on the lake.

Justin Ryan Concert, 7 p.m. • Free
St. Jude’s MCC, 19 N. 26th St.
See page 17 for full story.

Gold Party, 9 p.m.- 2 a.m.
Ibiza, 118 Market St.
Ibiza, home of some of Wilmington’s premier drag queens, will be hosting a Gold Party sponsored by Maclovia Underwear. Nationally recognized, Denver-based DJ Sean O’Grady will be rocking the club with his disco beats, ensuring everyone’s on the dance floor.

Blackout Party, 10 p.m.- 2 a.m. • Free
The Toolbox, 2325 Burnett Ave.
While Ibiza is going for the gold, The Toolbox is blacking out. Folks can enjoy cocktails and glow under the black lights until the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday, June 10th

Church Service, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. • Free
St. Jude’s MCC, 19 N. 26th St.
St. Jude’s MCC will offer two worship services with Reverend John McLaughlin. Singer Justin Ryan will also make a guest appearance at both.

Equality Rainbow March, 5 p.m. • Free
Front St. between Market and Princess St.
Community members, family and friends are all welcome to march in the Pride Week Equality Rainbow March. Participants will be meeting at Bailey’s Theatre park between 4 and 5 p.m. The march will begin at 5 and travel through the streets of historic downtown Wilmington until the procession reaches City Hall. A 125-foot rainbow banner will be carried during the march in support of the GLBTQIA community.

Wilmington Pride Festival, 5:30-9 p.m. • Free
City Hall, Innis Park, 3rd & Princess St.
Once the Equality Rainbow March ends at City Hall, the 5th annual Wilmington Pride Festival will rock City Hall and Innis Park. The festival will include vendors and live music. from bands such as acoustic duo Someone’s Sister, singer-songwriter Bethany Taulbee and Wilmington’s own Folkstar, plus several more.

Amateur Talent Show, 10 p.m-2 a.m. • Free
The Toolbox, 2325 Burnett Ave.
Don’t just end the night after the Pride Festival—mosey on down to The Toolbox to see what kind of local talents are hidden in Wilmington. The Amateur Talent Show is sure to give everyone a good laugh.

Monday, June 11

Pride Ladies Night, 7 p.m.- 2 a.m. • Free
Costello’s Piano Bar, 211 Princess St.
Come out to Costello’s Piano Bar, one of Wilmington’s classiest places for live music and superb nightlife. Enjoy the nightly drink specials and all-female entertainment, including a performance by mystical acoustic singer Bethany Taulbee.

Tuesday, June 12

Family Fun Day, 6 – 9 p.m.
Jungle Rapids, 5320 Oleander Dr. $10-$20
Jungle Rapids, Wilmington’s most popular park for mini golf, go-carts, laser tag and more, is hosting Family Fun Day in support of Pride. Bring the whole family and enjoy an evening of non-stop games and fun.

Wednesday, June 13

Pride Karaoke, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. • Free
Ibiza, 118 Market St.
A Wednesday evening spent singing tunes with Wilmington’s GLBTQIA community doesn’t sound half bad, huh? A night at Ibiza is never a dull one; come with those pipes warmed up a bit!

Thursday, June 14

Drag King Show, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. • Free
Ibiza, 118 Market St. Cost Varies
Watch some of Wilmington’s best male transformations strut their stuff on the dance floor during the midnight Drag King Show. There will be an abundance of dancing, singing, surprises and laughs.

Karaoke w/DJ Scott, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. • Free
The Toolbox Bar, 2325 Burnett Ave.
Get one last dose of karaoke at The Toolbox with Wilmington’s DJ Scott. Enjoy the singing, the drinks, the company, and end a week of Pride with delight!

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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