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Carrollton Pride Festival for ALL to Celebrate Pride!

repost from The West Georgian

Over the course of the weekend, local communities came together on the scenic grounds of The Carroll County Agricultural Center for the Carrollton PRIDE Festival 2023, a lively celebration of diversity and inclusivity. This event has expanded in scope and become a benchmark for shifting mindsets and a dedication to promoting inclusivity in Carrollton, Georgia.

By Lance Goins / October 12, 2023

Lance Goins


Over the course of the weekend, local communities came together on the scenic grounds of The Carroll County Agricultural Center for the Carrollton PRIDE Festival 2023, a lively celebration of diversity and inclusivity. This event has expanded in scope and become a benchmark for shifting mindsets and a dedication to promoting inclusivity in Carrollton, Georgia.


Families, allies and LGBTQ+ people of all ages attended the event, which offered a wide range of activities, live music, and informative booths. More than just a festive occasion, the Carrollton PRIDE Festival makes a strong statement about embracing love, acceptance and understanding in a generally conservative neighborhood.


Lauren Ridley, a graduate student at the UWG and a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, spoke exclusively about the significance of hosting such an event in Carrollton. Ridley, who has been actively involved in the festival since its inception, emphasized the festival’s role in creating a safe and welcoming environment.

“In Carrollton, where conservative values have often prevailed, the festival represents hope and acceptance,” said Ridley. “It serves as a powerful reminder that love and understanding can transcend differences.”


Ridley highlighted the festival’s dual role as a celebration and an educational platform.

“The festival is not just a party; it’s a space for creating difficult conversations and learning,” said Ridley. “It’s an opportunity to start conversations and bridge the gap in understanding.”


The festival included a broad roster of gifted artists presenting their work, food trucks serving up a range of foods, a community market with more than 60 local exhibitors selling goods, advocacy organizations, and health service providers. Attendees also had access to information booths from neighborhood LGBTQ+ groups and supporters, providing services and help for those in need.


UWG places a special emphasis on the Carrollton PRIDE Festival because it exemplifies the university’s dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The university’s participation in the festival demonstrates its dedication to empowering students like Lauren Ridley, who are ardent supporters of social justice and LGBTQ+ rights. 


“The festival is a way to show how Carrollton is evolving in its attitudes and commitment to diversity,” Ridley pointed out. “It’s a moment for us to come together, celebrate our differences, and strengthen our inclusive community.”


The 2023 Carrollton PRIDE Festival came to an end as the sun sank over The Carroll County Agricultural Center, leaving a neighborhood full of thanks and optimism for the future. The Carrollton PRIDE Festival is getting bigger every year, highlighting the cultural shift in Carrollton and reaffirming the belief that love, acceptance and unity are strong foundations for a more welcoming community.


The festival’s planners, along with ardent supporters like Lauren Ridley, remain committed to the cause and see a time when Carrollton’s way of life fully embraces the celebration of diversity. The legacy of the Carrollton PRIDE Festival will endure for years to come, inspiring reform and promoting inclusivity in the community.

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