Second annual Pride Parade set to roll Saturday on the Square in Oxford

Published 10:18 am Tuesday, May 2, 2017

After receiving widespread support from the community last year, organizers are encouraged this year’s Pride Parade and other Pride Weekend events will be widely attended.

The parade begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at the University-Oxford Depot parking lot. The parade will stroll down Presidential Debate Way to University Avenue, up to South Lamar Boulevard, around the Courthouse Square and back to the depot.

There’s no registration fee to participate in the parade. The theme for this year’s Pride Weekend is “Liberty and Justice for All.”

Pride Weekend officially begins Thursday and ends Sunday.

The event is organized by the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and OutOxford, with local support from The Lyric, Proud Larry’s, Oxford Film Festival and UM organizations including the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement.

Pride Weekend is designed to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for the LGBTQ communities of Lafayette County, Oxford and Ole Miss, according to organizers.

The Rev. Gail Stratton, a member of Parents and Friends for LGBTQ, said Pride Weekend is the most visible and affirming gathering of people of the LGBTQ community and their supporters.

“It is clear that the community is here and thriving and I love that the greater Oxford community benefits from the open support of all people,” she said. “As a member of LGBTQ, I will add that what is part of our byline: ‘It all starts with understanding.’ And when there is understanding, there is less fear. We want to break the generational cycle of homophobia and violence toward people who are LGBTQ by encouraging understanding.”

The weekend will kick off Thursday at 9 p.m. At Proud Larry’s with a Code Pink dance party hosted by OutOxford. The event is for people 18 and older and there will be a $10 cover charge at the door.

A Lavender Graduation, recognizing the LGBTQ students graduating from Ole Miss this year will be held at 4 p.m. at The Inn at Ole Miss.

Also on Friday, Big Freeda, the New Orleans-based rapper known as the Queen of Bounce, will perform at 8 p.m. at The Lyric Oxford. The show is for those 18 and up and tickets range from $15 to $26.

After the Pride Parade rolls through Oxford, Go Divas Extravaganza will be kick off at 8:30 p.m. at The Lyric. The show will feature drag stars from Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub. The show is for adults only. Tickets are $10.

The Oxford Film Festival will host a free screening of the film “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin,” at 2 p.m. at The Lyric Oxford.

A festival package, which provides access to all shows, can be purchased through The Lyric Oxford for $26. A percentage from each ticket sale will benefit the LGBTQ Arts and Culture Foundation Fund.