Happy Pride, y’all!
Nashville celebrated Pride the weekend of June 25th, and the grounds of Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park were filled with all sorts of joy, colors, and love. The near 100 degree temperatures along with high humidity made for a sweaty weekend, but no less of a fun one.
Day 1 began with the parade, and then everyone made the journey over from Broadway to the park to keep the celebration going all weekend. Equality Stage featured performances from Daisha McBride, Dave Audé, and Bully throughout the afternoon.
We also were treated to several drag shows, one of which was kicked off with a performance to music from Bring It On,which had people in the crowd singing and dancing along.
And as we headed into the evening, headliner Walk the Moon took the stage. Lead vocalist Nicholas Petricca shared with us that it was his first Pride since coming out, and Nashville was sure to respond with love and cheers.
The mood during Pride wasn’t always joyous, as the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade had been announced less than 24 hours prior. Petricca acknowledged this, as most artists did, saying “Even in the face of impossible things, I believe in us.”
Day 2 began just as sweltering as the day before, with some cloudy skies providing no relief. But these beautiful faces were still smiling, laughing, and dancing!
The Rainbow Stage featured artists like Rosemary Joaquin and Gia Woods, who both sang to the crowd that looked out over the entire park.
The afternoon brought us Bantug and Sienna Liggins on the Equality Stage, getting the ever-growing crowd out of the shade and onto the lawn.
And then we had an incredible evening with actress and singer Michaela Jaé, best known for her role in Pose. While she only could give us three songs, the crowd was roaring with their support and excitement, cheering on both her dance moves and everything she had to say.
Following Michaela Jae was Vincint, who, much to the delight of the audience, spent almost half of his performance in the crowd. He sang to individuals and had everyone make space for a runway where Pride-goers gave their best walk.
Before the final act, host and drag queen obSINity came out in a tank that said “Tanya Mother Tucker” on it in rainbow letters, preparing us for the final act of the festival. But before she announced Tanya Tucker, obSINity had a few final words for us. “Love who you are.” Cheers and tears alike filled the park with her moving speech.
And as the sun began to set, Nashville was treated with the headliner of the evening, Tanya Tucker. She came out with a bang, wearing a plumage of rainbow feathers and sparkling all over. The drag queens came out during her second song to share the stage, and it felt like a perfect way to conclude the festival.
Until next June! But remember, Pride is for every day.