The inaugural “LoveFest” is set for downtown Henderson Saturday afternoon as the community comes together to celebrate and observe Pride Month.
Melissa Elliott, founder of Gang Free, Inc. and Michael Venable are working to organize the event, which will take place June 11 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 205 Breckenridge St. They spoke with John C. Rose on Monday’s TownTalk.
Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed June as LGBTQ Pride Month, and Elliott and Venable said there will be food, fun and festivities for the community as part of Love Fest. Local DJ Corey Hanks will provide musical entertainment.
Elliott said Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington will be present and will read a local proclamation as well.
“We talk about equality,” Venable said, “but if we want to move forward, we need to include everyone.”
There will be plenty of vendors out for the event, but Elliott said there’s always room for more. Contact her at email@example.com or 252.598.0067 to learn more about participating as a vendor or organization.
Elliott said the event is being planned as a “nonjudgmental zone” where the community can lay aside misunderstanding and miscommunication to promote inclusion and diversity among all people.
“It’s about people who just want to be treated equal and treated fair,” Venable said.
Event sponsors include Henderson Police Department, the City of Henderson, Food Lion, print company Kolor Kode, Vance-Granville Community College, Miguel’s Beauty Salon, Henderson-Vance Parks & Recreation Dept., Downtown Development, the NAACP, Gang Free, Inc. and Graceful Buttah, a company that sells body scrubs, lotions and butters.
Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, have a family member who is or you just want to learn more, this event is a chance to come out and show support.
“I feel like there’s not enough here for the LGBTQ community,” Venable said. “They judge the book by the cover – they don’t read the book,” he said.