Katherine Daniel ~ Editor-in-Chief
On Saturday, April 13, 2019, the first ever Hill City Pride event will be hosted at the Lynchburg Hillcats Stadium from 12:00-5:00 p.m.
According to the Hill City Pride website, their vision is “to unify the individual LGBTQ+ communities, both collegiate and residential, throughout Lynchburg and Central Virginia. We also seek to be the catalyst to promote social change for a better and safer community.”
Their mission is “to celebrate the vast diversity and accomplishments of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and other sexual and gender expressive peoples. To create a brave space for the LGBTQ+ and their allies to network, promote education, and raise awareness and acceptance throughout Lynchburg and Central Virginia.”
Team member of the Hill City Pride and University of Lynchburg student, Marc Propst, said, “This is the first year of the Hill City Pride Festival! Spectrum Arts Society, the overarching non-profit in charge of this, is building on the legacy that was first delivered by Soulforce many years ago.”
Propst also works for the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance as their Program Management Intern and works as the Deputy Executive Director of Spectrum Arts Society. According to the Hill City Pride website, “As one of the co-founders of the Office of Equity & Inclusion at the University of Lynchburg, Marc works to advocate for everyone no matter who they are, both on campus and off-campus in the Greater Lynchburg community.”
Propst said, “This event means so much to me. I am the youngest person in the group who has been at the University of Lynchburg for 4 years. I understand what this type of event means in Lynchburg, Virginia. I, along with the whole team, have worked many hours and months to pull this event together. I could not be happier with the opportunity to bring in sponsorship, work on logistics, and put a mark and legacy in Lynchburg, Virginia.”
“This is the first Hill City Pride festival of its kind, we will be having different vendors and performers, along with many different kid options to help bring a more family-friendly event. We will be having retail vendors and information vendors, these vendors are members throughout the community offering their various products and services and want to showcase their support,” Propst said.
Some of their current vendors/sponsors include Randolph College, University of Lynchburg Office of Equity & Inclusion, Free Clinic of Central Virginia, Genworth, Human Rights Campaign, LGBT+ Democrats, and many more.
Propst said, “This definitely gets the community involved because we want to showcase the LGBTQ+ community and the allies who are within the community and could provide a safe place for everyone. this also gives the community the chance to support through their sponsorship or being a vendor at our event.”
For the event, Propst said, “We have many different drag queens including Delighted ToBeHere, Chiki Parm, and more! We also have lined up a local band called Flat Five, along with different individual singers that wanted to bring their talent to the big stage!”
According to the New in Lynchburg website, “Please remember, this is a family friendly event. No shirt, no shoes, no entry.”