The city's annual gay pride parade is happening a little early this year, after the past two October parades were marred by cold snaps and wet weather.
Gay pride weekend kicks off with the "Big Gay Art Show" at Crosstown Arts Gallery on Friday, September 26th from 6 to 9 p.m. The show will feature work dealing with themes of sexuality, gender identity, and contemporary queer issues by regional artists in mediums ranging from painting and photography to video and performance art. Storyteller Elaine Blanchard will perform, and there will be a screening of the film Underage by artist Ohm Phanphiroj. The show is curated and hosted by Thomas Everett Green and Kevin Mitchell, faculty members of Memphis College of Art.
The annual Mid-South Pride Festival begins off at 10 a.m. at Robert R. Church Park downtown on Saturday, September 27th and runs through 6 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Seeing Red, male illusionist Spikey Van Dykey, Tori WhoDat, Incredible Hook, and others.
The pride parade will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at Beale and Fourth and will proceed toward Second, where the parade ends. The grand marshals for this year's parade are Arkansas-based LGBT rights activist Laura Phillips and Jonathan and Dwayne D. Beebe-Franqui, a gay military couple that have become role models for LGBT service members.