Monday, June 24, 2024

Love is Love to Bring Sparkle and Shine to Williamsburg

Staff from W&M Library at the 2022 event. (PrideCon)

WILLIAMSBURG — Sparkle and Shine, Williamsburg’s second PrideCon event, will take place on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Williamsburg Community Building.

The goal of the free family-friendly event is to build community, visibility and support for the LGBTQIA+/queer community.

Hosted by Love is Love Tidewater and PFLAG Williamsburg, last year’s PrideCon was Williamsburg’s first-ever city-pride event with over 300 people attending the celebration.

The Sparkle and Shine event will feature three food trucks on site, several local businesses selling wares, and community organizations including Mom Hugs, Dad Hugs and local affirming religious communities.

A costume contest begins at 4 p.m., with a prize for the top costume in both youth (aged 5-7) and adult (18 and over) categories. Participants must register by 3 p.m. to be considered for judging.

Speakers will include Sen. Monty Mason and Rev. Art Wright of the Williamsburg Baptist Church.

City Council Member Barbara Ramsey welcomes PrideCon attendees 2022. (PrideCon)

Love is Love Tidewater was formed out of conversations held in 2018 by Shawn Patrick McNulty and MC Jesse, two therapists, who were seeking safe, local spaces for LGBTQIA+ folks. With assistance from Nationz Foundation in Richmond, these conversations grew into an organization that built community events like monthly game nights, an annual Friendsgiving, and other holiday gatherings, building partnerships with local businesses and faith communities.

PFLAG Williamsburg is a local chapter of the national PFLAG organization. PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. The group meets on a monthly basis.

In addition to this annual event, Love Is Love Tidewater hosts a monthly game night, from 6-9 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month at Williamsburg Baptist Church on Richmond Road. All are invited to attend.

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