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    Posted September 26, 2013 by
    RevOnyx
    Location
    Thomasville, North Carolina
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

    More from RevOnyx

    Central NC Pagan Pride Day

     
    On September 21st and 22nd around 3000 people gathered in attendance at the North Carolina State Fair Grounds in Raleigh for the Thirteenth annual Central North Carolina Pagan Pride Day event. The damp weather of Saturday seemed to hamper attendance just a small bit, but as the rained ceased and the skies turned sunny attendance at the event swelled. The estimated attendance to the event is over three thousand.

    I was not able to attend the event; I am relying on the reports of Felicia Layton from “Any Witch Way” for information and photos. “Any Witch Way” is a family owned pagan vendor located in Concord, North Carolina. I want to thank her for all she has done to make this report possible. “Black Crow Productions” make photographs available, a family owned endeavor.

    Entrance price to this event was a non-perishable food item for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. There was a truck set up just at the gate to collect these items. On Sunday, there was a mobile donation center from the American Red Cross on site.

    As you moved inside the gate you saw over one hundred booths that hosted vendors and information of all sorts. In addition to this, there was also a kid’s zone, entertainment areas, workshop areas, a center stage, a raffle booth, and of course the ritual circle.

    There were two main rituals for the vent. On Saturday, there was a Mabon Harvest Ritual. On Sunday, ritualists took advantage of the ideas of balance at the equinox and performed a Mabon Balance Ritual. Both rituals were open for anyone to watch or participate. Hundreds of event goers attended at each of the rituals.

    The American Wildlife Refuge, which is a raptor rescue and education group, was there to teach the community about their program. Their booth focused on birds of prey. To the event, they brought along several species of owl and an eagle.

    Another animal-focused and popular booth at the event was hosted by Midgard Serpents Reptile Rescue. This group attended to teach the proper care and husbandry for reptiles as pets. A surrender station was available for anyone who owned a reptile or other exotics that they had to find new homes for. They brought along a variety of animals including a Burmese python, tarantula, iguanas, turtles, and others.

    The European Medieval Arts of Arms was also a popular group at the event. They were set up just inside the entrance gate. They offered demonstrations on a variety sword fighting techniques and styles. Many took advantage of their “Fight a Knight” program, were anyone of any age could battle against one of their knights. Foam swords were used to prevent injury.

    In addition to all of these wonderful offerings from around the community, attendees were treated with acts by local belly dancers, drum circles and singers. Many workshops were held during the course of the two-day event. A few of these workshops included spiritual house blessing, basic energy healing, and even an introduction to belly dancing.

    Next year will see the Fourteenth Annual Central North Carolina Pagan Pride Day since preparations are already underway. The event will be held on September 20th and 21st of 2014, and will be located once again at the North Carolina State Fair Grounds in Raleigh.
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