Days before Blount County, Tennessee’s annual Pride festival, a local district attorney released a letter threatening to prosecute the event’s organizers under a defunct anti-drag act. The festival went on as scheduled this weekend—and more than doubled its 2022 attendance.
Blount Pride is an annual LGBTQ+ celebration in Maryville, offering music, art, drag performances, and community resources. But this year’s festival came under legal threat last week when Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond warned that he would prosecute organizers if they violated a short-lived anti-drag law.
After a last-minute lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union and a ruling from a federal judge, the festival went on as planned, with more than twice as many attendees as last year.