Metro Weekly

Pride Night Returns to Kings Dominion on September 10

The celebration allows the LGBTQ community after-hours access to the popular amusement park near Richmond, Va.

Pride Night attendees at Kings Dominion – Metro Weekly file photo by Ward Morrison

What happens when a bunch of LGBTQ people take over an amusement park?

While such a question may seem like a setup for a punchline, the answer will soon become apparent when Pride Night returns, after a multi-year hiatus, to Kings Dominion amusement park on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 6 p.m. to midnight.

In past years, the now-shuttered BHT Foundation served as the event’s host. But this year’s Pride Night is co-sponsored by Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc., a nonprofit focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and advocating for holistic health care options for Black LGBTQ people, in collaboration with SpeakOut, a nonprofit community engagement organization for same-gender-loving people of color.

Pride Night attendees at King Dominion – Metro Weekly file photo by Ward Morrison

According to DeMarc Hickson, executive director of Us Helping Us, the park will shut down to the general public, and Pride Night attendees will have access to select rides, the concession stand, and the main pavilion, featuring live performances and DJs, throughout the event.

Transportation will be provided between Kings Dominion and RFK Stadium, with busses leaving RFK around 4 p.m. and returning somewhere between 1 and 2 a.m. 

Us Helping Us continues to emphasize the importance of sexual health screenings, especially during a time when LGBTQ people remain at higher risk of acquiring infections that can be painful or detrimental to one’s health if left untreated.

“Anybody who wants to attend Pride Night for free can come in for testing or a sexual health screening,” says Hickson. “If they are already living with HIV, they can get the rest of the full panel of tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and hepatitis C. And then others can get the full integrated HIV and STI screening.”

Those wishing to receive a free ticket can do so by registering for an appointment for an HIV or STI screening as part of Us Helping Us’s “Test for Tickets” campaign. Call 202-446-1100 for details.

Tickets are also available for purchase through SpeakOutUSA.org/events. Tickets prices range from $54.99 to $69.97. The higher-priced option includes one meal voucher and a drink wristband.

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