Photo Credit: Frank Jania via Flickr
NC Pride parade, 2006

Add this to your Annals of Assimilation: originally scheduled for the morning of Saturday, Sept. 30, the start of this year’s North Carolina’s annual LGBT festival “NC Pride” has been delayed to the late afternoon and the giddy parade has been cancelled, out of respect to Yom Kippur, the Durham, NC, Herald Sun reported, noting that Yom Kippur will run from sundown Friday, Sept. 29 to sundown Sept. 30. So that, presumably, if you rush out of shul right after the Ne’ilah prayer (skipping Ma’ariv for later) you could still make most of the LGBT festivities.

According to the Herald Sun, festival organizers apologized to the Jewish community, realizing that the recommended activity for the Day of Atonement is fasting and participating in synagogue services rather than celebrating on a float. So there was some backlash, and NC Pride executive director John Short announced a solution: they will keep the Sept. 30 date, but instead of a parade the LGBT event will now be a street festival called “NC Pride @ Night,” starting in the late afternoon and continuing overnight – from 4 PM Sept. 30 to 4 AM Oct. 1, with street festivals on Rigsbee Avenue in Durham and on Harrington Street in Raleigh.

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So maybe you could finish Ma’ariv with the minyan, then even do Kiddush Levanah, if the sky isn’t overcast, change into your leather shorts and hit the festival.

You think we’re kidding?

Jill Madsen, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill, reminded readers that last year more than 100 members of her federation came to NC Pride’s parade. It was intergenerational, she recalled, misty-eyed, from children to older adults. This year, though, with the night-time festivities, her group might be smaller, Madsen said.

Madsen stressed that “everyone chooses to observe holidays differently,” but still, since sunset on Sept. 30 will be around 7 PM, “those who are being observant can’t break their fast until then.”

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