Local News

Sixth annual 'Out Festival' to be held in Raleigh on Saturday

Posted May 6, 2016 10:13 p.m. EDT
Updated May 6, 2016 10:25 p.m. EDT

— For the sixth year, crowds are expected to pack downtown for the Out Raleigh Festival.

The festival, which takes place on Fayetteville Street on Saturday, celebrates and shows support of the LGBT community.

“We are your friends and your neighbors, and we want you to be with us,” said LGBT Center of Raleigh Executive Director, James Miller.

Millers says politics over House Bill 2 have been tough to witness and that the community feels under attack.

“It really is something that I am concerned about,” Miller said. “People are hurting and I think it is because words matter. Our suicide line has gone through the roof.

Miller said more than 130 calls were made in one week, an eight-fold volume increase.

With the recent increase in phone calls, Miller said the festival comes at a perfect time this year.

“This year, it is focusing on the idea that individuals in our community are no different, and we went to invite everyone out in the community to see that,” Miller said.

As in years past, organizers are working with Raleigh police to keep the event safe.

Miller said he believes more people will attend this year’s festival because of the increased political debate.

“I think we are going to see a huge bump,” he said.