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First Pride Fest coming this weekend

Suffolk’s first Pride Festival is coming to the city on Sunday with food, vendors, live music, performers and more.

“This is Suffolk’s very first Pride,” said Mia Feliu, community outreach associate for the Suffolk LGBT Center of Hampton Roads. “We’re asking people to come out and celebrate LGBT social acceptance and achievements.”

The event takes place from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday at Bennett’s Creek Park, 3000 Bennetts Creek Park Road.

Feliu said drag performers and special guest speakers such as Delegate Clinton Jenkins will be on hand. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to the free event and just hang out.

“I do believe it’s going to be a large turnout, because folks are really excited about this event, from what we’ve been hearing,” Feliu said. “I think that the Suffolk community is really ready for these exciting events. Having representation here is very important, and they’re excited to have it so close to home now.”

Feliu said folks previously had to travel from Suffolk and Western Tidewater to Virginia Beach and Norfolk to find a Pride event.

There will also be a car wash for people entering and exiting the event. Donations will be accepted for the LGBT Center.

Also Sunday beginning at 10 a.m., the AIDS Walk Hampton Roads will take place. People can register, donate or get more information at aidswalk.eventbrite.com. AIDS Walk Hampton Roads is co-sponsored by the AIDS Foundation of Hampton Roads and MASS: Minority AIDS Support Services. Beneficiaries of donations raised include organizations allied in the fight to combat HIV/AIDS, specifically the AIDS Foundation of Hampton Roads, MASS: Minority AIDS Support Services, Urban League of Hampton Roads, Inc.’s Health Outreach and Prevention Education Program, and Planned Parenthood’s HIV Services and STD Testing.