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Blount Pride to bring together musicians, organizations and community for a day of fun

Blount Pride is on Saturday starting at 3 p.m., meant to uplift and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in Blount County.
Credit: Blount Pride

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — On Saturday, Jack Greene Park may be decorated in color and celebration as crowds gather to celebrate Blount Pride.

The event has been in the works for several months. Organizers worked to bring together performers and East Tennessee LGBTQ+ organizations to the park for a day of fun and connecting with members of the community. They said the event will go on, rain or shine.

Organizers said the event is family-friendly with face painting, a beanbag throw and chalk art activities. There will also be a 4 p.m. Rainbow Storytime event for families that want to enjoy Blount Pride with a heartwarming story.

Young attendees will also be able to make encouragement cards for LGBTQ+ clubs in local high schools at the teen tent. At the same time, the community resource fair will open where people can connect with organizations supporting LGBTQ+ people across East Tennessee.

Groups like McNabb Foster Care, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, Applachian OUTreach, the UT Pride Center, the Queer History Project and many others will be at the resource fair.

Six performers are expected to take the stage Saturday as well. They are listed below.

  • Kukuly and the Fuego at 4:30 p.m. — A Knoxville-based acoustic ensemble that plays hot jazz, as well as swing standards, ballads, tangos, waltzes and other Latin songs.
  • Grady Milligan at 5 p.m. — Grady is a local singer-songwriter who has played at places local venues like Pretentious Beer Co, with a repertoire featuring original storytelling and covers from popular artists.
  • Tyra Von Shade at 5:30 p.m. — A performer living in Knoxville whose music includes heavy sounds with pop rhythms combined into exciting dance songs.
  • JAQ at 6 p.m. — A graduate student studying Urban Food Forestry at UT, they are also the student director of the Tennessee Champion Tree Program. Between studying and working in the program, they still find time to make music.
  • Nayeema at 6:30 p.m. — They are a 22-year-old singer-songwriter who taught themselves how to play guitar when they were 13 years old. They also mastered the piano, bass, drums and music production techniques.
  • Adeem the Artist at 7 p.m. — Adeem blends an affection for country music with alternative folk rhythms, creating a unique kind of Americana that reminds audiences of bands like The Mountain Goats.

Blount Pride will open to the public at 3 p.m. and go until 8 p.m. at Jack Greene Park. A food truck will be there serving meals for attendees, with accessible parking near them.

Across the street, there will be parking at First Baptist Maryville. The only entrance to the event will be near the accessible parking lot by Greenbelt Pavillion.

People should bring a camp chair or a picnic blanket with water and sunscreen. Organizers said attendees should also make sure to bring food, since the food truck said they expect to be overwhelmed by the volume of attendees.

The event is free, but people need an armband to enter. They will be available at the entrance, near the registration table.

Performers are paid, so organizers said people should not tip them. There will also be water, chairs and tables available at the "Chill Out Tent." The Maryville Police Department will be providing security for Blount Pride this year, and no weapons are allowed.

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