Lynchburg Celebrates the First Ever Pride Fest

Hundreds of Soulforce supporters and residents turn out for "OUT and ABOUT"

(Lynchburg, VA) – Approximately 500 people converged on Riverside Park in Lynchburg, VA on Saturday, October 26, 2002 for "OUT and ABOUT in Lynchburg," the first-ever pride festival in Jerry Falwell’s hometown.

Starting early in the morning, volunteers from Soulforce decorated the park with thousands of rainbow colored balloons, banners, and information tables.

Despite the fear that exists in a community steeped in Christian fundamentalism, dozens of students from Lynchburg-area high schools and colleges came to Riverside Park to check it out. Residents and Soulforce supporters from as far away as Hawaii, enjoyed the beautiful afternoon in the sun together listening to a variety of speakers, singers, a flagger, a guitar player, a poet, and a beautiful female impersonator. The afternoon ended in a powerful meditation and send off.

As the event progressed, you could see the transformation taking place in the students that risked ridicule to come to the park.

Soulforce empowered Lynchburg. Soulforce gave strength to the oppressed. No one here will ever be the same!