Whether you’re homosexual or straight, a veteran or first-timer, drag queen or wallflower, Columbia’s Famously Hot S.C. Satisfaction festival is happy to perhaps you have all.
“You come to realize we’re not going to grow as a community if we don’t welcome our allies with us,” said Jeff March, president of S.C. Satisfaction. “If we are truly only ten percent of the populace, we can’t win anything on our own. We must have our allies, so reaching out to them is important.”
Famously Hot S.C. Pride is one of Columbia’s biggest annual events, drawing around 55,000 visitors to Main Road last year.
This season, its 28th, the festival expands to two days, with a parade and street dance party featuring rapper Lil Kim on Friday night and a complete festival day with concerts and RuPaul’s Drag Racers on Saturday.
In lots of ways, it’s about celebrating the advances which have been made for the LGBT community over the years, March said.
“The more out we become and the more vocal we become, the greater acceptance we achieve,” March said. “Lots of people, especially here in the South, haven’t been able to see full approval in their lives. They turn out to the streets and experience such a great atmosphere and a loving, warm acceptance. It’s such an optimistic thing to see.”
If you’re a first-timer: For the entire Pride experience, you’ve got to see the parade down Main Street on Friday night (the festival’s first nighttime parade), and you’ve surely got to go directly to the festival Sunday afternoon. All along Main Street on Sunday, you’ll find suppliers representing all the neighborhood LGBT organizations with resources and information to answer any of your questions.
If you want to bring the kids: Do it! The parade and festival are family-friendly, plus there will be a booze-free area at Main and Washington streets Saturday. But after the sunlight starts to fade, it might be time to put the kids to bed – Fri night’s post-parade street dance party offering Lil’ Kim and DJ Mimi Imfurst (of “RuPaul’s Move Race”) is scored R.
If you’re a real diva: Drag queens, y’all. Look forward to performances by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stars Phoenix, Detox, Latrice Royale, Trinity Taylor and Kennedy Davenport, as well as local queens including Paris Lefaris. Plus, Drag Racer Mimi Imfurst will be DJing Friday night’s road dance party and Sunday night’s Aftermath party at Main Street Public House.
If you neeeeed to dance: Friday night’s street dance party at Main and Lady roads is where you should be. Rapper Lil’ Kim is a huge get for the celebration, and she’ll be carrying out after the parade at the intersection of Main and Female, with DJing by Mimi Imfurst. Saturday’s festival features more musical performances by Jody Watley, Betty Who, Debby Holiday and Alissah Brooks, plus move performances.
If you’re searching for a more subdued event: Wind down with the annual Satisfaction Picnic at noon Sunday at Reformation Lutheran Cathedral.