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It was too nice to stay in Sunday, so SteelerDude and I put on some tie dye and headed uptown with the dogs to check out Charlotte's first LGBT Pride Parade in 19 years. A large time was had by all, and you know I brought back eye candy!

Under blue skies on Sunday, a cheering, rainbow-flag-waving crowd lined Tryon Street to revel in the first gay pride parade in Charlotte in 19 years.

Mayor Patsy Kinsey, as well as two openly gay City Council members, rode in the parade, joined by a marching band, floats, a double-decker Bank of America bus and the Wells Fargo stagecoach.

Organizers of the Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade didn’t have a crowd estimate on Sunday afternoon, but said the throng exceeded expectations. Attendance for the weekend of festivities will likely exceed 55,000, said media chairman Matt Comer.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/...

Fifty. Five. Thousand. Who you calling a red state?

Hop aboard for much more ...

A quick word before we get to the pictures. It's hard to overestimate the absolute wonder of being right in the middle of this great big party. I tried to do justice to the enormity of the crowd, but it literally went on for city block after city block, in both directions from my perch on a bench along S. Tryon. I kept waiting for someone to kick me off, but no one did.

Bear in mind that all that follows happened in Charlotte, North Carolina, birthplace of Billy Graham and NASCAR. And, it followed our impressive turnout for Moral Monday less than a week ago. I've been here almost a decade, and have never seen anything like it.

Pride parade, Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 8/25/13
Charlotte is undeniably a banking town, so let's start with the banks. Bank of America sponsored the parade so I'll give them due credit for getting one thing right.
Charlotte Pride 2013 parade, 200 block S. Tryon St., looking north
Bank of America bus
Good turnout for local BoA employees
Wells Fargo
PNC Bank
Fifth Third Bank
Dignitaries:
Charlotte Mayor Patsy Kinsey. Bad shot, historic moment.
Miss Charlotte Pride, Valarie Rockwell
Candidates:

LaWana Mayfield

LaWana Mayfield, incumbent candidate, City Council District 3
Vi Alexander Lyles
Vi Alexander Lyles, city Council at-large candidate
Churches:
Myers Park Baptist Church
Trinity Lutheran Church
United Church of Christ
New Life MCC
Clubs:
Cathode Azure Nightclub
Chaser's Nightclub
Scorpio Nightclub
More of everything...
PFLAG
Lots and lots of dogs! A few were pink.
Winner: Biggest round of applause
Pocket Rocket posse
Charlotte Royals Rugby team
Charlotte Royals float
There's always one...
I'll leave you with some video. Happy Monday!

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