Roanoke’s Pride Festival weekend wraps up

ROANOKE, Va. – Rainbow flags flew high in Elmwood Park this weekend for the 31st annual Roanoke Pride Festival.

Organizers said they were excited to see everyone who came out to enjoy the festivities.

“It’s a celebration of diversity, of inclusion,” Pride Organizer Enya Salad said. “We’re here to celebrate our family, our friends, our allies.”

Some attend the decades-long tradition year after year, and others came for the very first time.

“I didn’t know about Pride until this year that there was one in Roanoke,” Attendee Emma Silva said. “Going to my first one is very exciting knowing that you know there’s something for people like us who can be a part of.”

Performances brought the stage alive, as well as the around 80 vendors of all kinds, including the WSLS booth.

Many groups were there with a mission, including Blue Ridge Pride Sports.

David Rivera is starting a flag football team, a game he’s come to love.

“I actually liked a sport, and it’s something I would have never known because I was too afraid,” Rivera said. “In high school it’s not typically accepted by us. We feel a little bit more scared to approach it.”

If you ask organizers, getting out of your comfort zone and being proud of who you are is what Roanoke’s Pride Festival is all about.

“In these very trying times right now where everything is changing and everyone’s against something, and everyone’s trying to outlaw or ban something, it’s very important for our community to come together as one to celebrate individuals,” Salad said. “Celebrate each other, celebrate ourselves, be proud of who you are.”

About the Author

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.

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