For the 2012 SC Pride Festival, we return to Main Street. For decades, our Parade has traversed the historic part of the city, ending at our State Capitol. This year, we bring the actual festival to occupy the blocks from Lady to Hampton streets, with our Parade still passing the Statehouse.
That’s why we are calling this year The Main Event— it’s a chance for us to secure a more visible place in our State, showing our pride for a whole day right in front of the seat of our government.
Join us October 20, 2012 for The Main Event in Columbia SC!
Main Street, Columbia SC
Beginning at 1PM
Sheena Easton, whose career has spanned the last 30 years, was born in Bellshill, Scotland, the youngest of six children. Her early musical influences were Motown, Barbra Streisand, rock and 70s soul. Her recording career has included Gold and Platinum albums in the United States, Europe and Asia. She has received two Grammys, and was the first artist to have top five records on five Billboard’s charts. In addition to her recording success, Sheena is a top concert attraction around the world, having performed in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Taipei, her last album in Japan “My Cherie” was a number-one hit.
Chad Michaels has dedicated 20 years to the exciting art of Celebrity Impersonation. Most notably, Chad’s tribute to Cher has earned him international acclaim and granted him the opportunity to collaborate with, and entertain for industry favorites including David Foster, Elton John, Cyndi Lauper, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Tori Spelling, Perez Hilton, and even the Diva herself, Cher.Learn More
Reina’s live performance on the nationally syndicated morning show, Live with Regis and Kelly, proved that the young powerhouse diva is ready to take dance music to a whole new level. With the release of her new single, “Just Let Go,” she might just be, as Regis Philbin labeled her, this generation’s Donna Summer.Learn More
Chase W. Nelson
Winner of Pride Talent 2012, Chase W. Nelson is a PhD student in genetics and Presidential Fellow at the University of South Carolina (Columbia).
Hailing from Holland, MI, he graduated from Ohio’s Oberlin College in 2010, where he conducted honors research in biology and studied music in his free time. During this time, he also engaged in research internships at Ohio University and the University of Wyoming in the field of bioinformatics.
He subsequently worked as a researcher in computational biology in Geneva, NY, where he debuted as Jack in Sondheim’s Into the Woods with the Geneva Theatre Guild. Since moving to Columbia, he has appeared as Ernst in Spring Awakening and Henry in Next to Normal at Trustus Theatre.
He has also participated in a late-night cabaret series at Workshop Theatre, and recently won first place at SC Pride Talent.
Besides music, Nelson also enjoys writing, swing dancing, and learning Mandarin Chinese, among other endeavors. He’s honored and delighted to be performing at Pride 2012.
South Carolina Drag Queens & Kings[separator type="simple"]
Speakers & MCs
South Carolina Pride is proud to welcome the following speakers to our Festival. They will be on stage each hour to deliver important messages to our crowd about a wide variety of topics.
After stints of part-time teaching and 29 years in the business world, Converse moved to South Carolina in 2001 with his partner Michael VanDiver. He is currently a full-time instructor, teaching public speaking at Midlands technical College. In addition, Converse is the executive producer, writer, and weekly host of Rainbow Radio—The Real Gay Agenda, which is a half-hour weekly show “by gay and straight people, for gay and straight people.”
Patti O’Furniture, Miss SC Pride 2006, is the Camp Queen of the Carolinas known as “the yard sale with legs!” Her style of entertainment should make you laugh (or scratch your head and wonder…)! She hosts the longest running drag show in Columbia on Tuesdays at midnight at PT’s 1109 and can be seen on stages throughout the Southeast including monthly appearances at Rainbow House in Myrtle Beach, SC. For the past four years, she has co-hosted the SC Pride Parade live on WXRY. All of the money she raises on stage is donated to charities like AIDS Benefit Foundation and SC Pride, which to date totals over $500,000.
Nicole Roberts is Columbia’s Blonde Bombshell and has been a female impersonator and entertainer for 19 years in the Capital City of Columbia and throughout the southeast. She was the 10th and longest reigning Ms. SC Gay Pride. She is very active in community fundraising events for SCGLPM, PALSS, AIDS Benefit Foundation, and Trustus Theater. Through the art of female impersonation, she taught herself how to sew and now has her own sewing business, sewing for local fashion designers, the Columbia City Jazz Company, Frenchie’s Skirts, Dutch Fork High School Marching Band Color Guard, and many of the other local entertainers.
Longtime gay activist Tony SNell served as president of SCGLPM for several years. During that time, he was one of the community’s most articulate spokespeople in the Statehouse and public forums, organizing many initiatives and demonstrations over the years, including the infamous trip to the art museum at Bob Jones University, which had prohibited gay alumni from visiting campus. In 1998, Snell was interviewed along with Harriet Hancock by The New York TImes in a ground-breaking story about gay and lesbian political organizations in South Carolina.
Marsha Marie Clarke was born in Rome, NY, in 1961, and was raised by a single parent during 60s and 70s. She served for 12 years in the United States Marine Corps during Persian Gulf era as a meteorologist. She graduated from University of California Riverside with a bachelors degree in geology. She ended current career as an associate geologist and regional manager of a large geo-engineering firm.
A native of Goldsboro, North Carolina, Jimmy Creech was an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church from 1970 to 1999, when the Church removed his ordination after two church trials for his officiating at a wedding ceremony of a gay couple. In April 2011 his book, Adam’s Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor’s Calling to Defy the Church’s Persecution of Lesbians and Gays, was published. Adam’s Gift is Creech’s inspiring first-person account of how a conversation with gay longtime parishioner Adam transformed his life and ministry.
Since, Creech has worked with many social-action organizations, including Soulforce, an interfaith movement confronting spiritual violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons; North Carolina Religious Coalition for Marriage Equality, dedicated to defeating a anti-gay marriage amendment to the NC State constitution; and Faith In America, an organization working to end religion-based bigotry.
Creech has received the Flagbearer Award from PFLAG National; the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award; the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Frank Porter Graham Award; the North Carolina Pride, Inc. Award; and the Lee and Mae Ball Award. He was selected as one of OUT magazine’s “Out 100” in 1998 and 1999. He now lives in Raleigh where he recently helped to found the North Carolina Social Justice Project.
City Councilman Sam Davis is chief executive officer of BEKOTU and Associates and holds a bachelor of science degree in political science and a masters degree in management/administration from Webster University. He has also completed additional studies in public administration at the University of South Carolina. Davis is also a graduate of Leadership South Carolina. His professional and civic affiliations have included the board of directors of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, past secretary and president of SC Association of Minorities for Public Administration, and a member of the advisory boards for Federation Center of the Blind, College Place Neighborhood Association, and Lorick Park Citizens Advisory Committee. His district is in the midst of revitalization, which includes streetscaping projects along North Main Street as well as new business development at the North Main Plaza.
Davis also spearheaded the Belmont Residential Initiative, a project which is the result of a partnership between the City of Columbia, the Eau Claire Development Corporation and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The North Columbia Master Plan is another venture that Davis is overseeing in District I. This catalyst project is the result of a partnership between the City of Columbia, Eau Claire Development Corporation and Columbia College.
Kelvin E. Washington Sr.
Kelvin E. Washington Sr. was elected to office in November 2008 and represents Richland County Council District 10. In January 2012, Washington was elected the current County Council Chairman. His district covers the majority of the Lower Richland Area including Hopkins, Eastover and Gadsden, as well as the historic Arthurtown community. Washington’s goals for his time on council include working to bring infrastructure (water and sewer, road improvements, and bike and walking paths) to the constituents of District 10, as well as having “Smart Development” implemented throughout the county.
He has been a steward for the Lower Richland Community for the past 20 years serving in such capacities as volunteer fire chief of Hopkins Fire Station, member of the Richland County Transportation Study Commission, member of the Richland County Recreation Commission Bond and Park Design Review Committee, and vice-chair of The Renaissance Foundation. Washington’s service inspired him to run for office in order to help establish and implement controlled growth for District 10 and its constituents.
Washington brings an extensive background in transportation to council. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from South Carolina State University and has completed the Strategic Leadership for State Executives at Duke University, SCDOT’s Strategic Training for Transportation Agency Representatives, and the Federal Highway Administration’s National Highway Institute for Professional Development.