Following controversy over the scheduling of this year's NC Pride festival, organizers have announced events will start later in the day on September 30 to accommodate those observing the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
In the past, the festival has been held on the last Saturday in September. This year, that falls on one the holiest Jewish holidays, the Day of Atonement, which runs from sundown on September 29 to sundown on September 30. For about a month, NC Pride organizers have been looking for a solution to the scheduling conflict, seen by some in the Jewish community (as Carolina Jews for Justice put it
) as "a very significant and hurtful oversight."
Instead of the usual daytime parade, the festival, now dubbed NC Pride @ Night
, will run from four p.m. on September 30 to four a.m. on October 1. According to the NC Pride website, "evening street festivals" will take place in Durham and Raleigh, including food, vendors, parties and shows.
"As of July 1, the Pride Committee of NC has been working on a solution to the date overlap of NC Pridefest and the High Holy Days of the Jewish calendar. We are now excited to announce new schedule of events that would allow ALL to attend," the website says.
NC Pride had apologized for the conflict, saying others events had been scheduled around the September 30 date, making it difficult to reschedule.
“As our event has become larger, the City of Durham, Duke University and other community events in the fall have planned around our event on that established weekend," the organization's website said. "Even so, we feel the need to recognize this year's conflict to our Jewish friends. Ask for their forgiveness and look forward to their participation in our event in future years.”
For many observers, Yom Kippur entails fasting from sundown to sundown and spending most of the day in synagogue. So, the new four p.m. start time still may not work for everybody.
"No group of people, Jewish or otherwise, should have to choose between our LGBTQ identities and the other identities that are important to us and shape our lives," Carolina Jews for Justice wrote in a Facebook post responding to the scheduling.