Central NC Pagan Pride Day is a chapter of the international Pagan Pride Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster pride in Pagan identity, and to eliminate prejudice and discrimination based on religious beliefs, all through education, activism, charity and community.
Our most important activity is hosting our autumnal celebration, the Central NC Pagan Pride Day Festival. Open to the general public, this festival offers a day of both entertainment and education in the form of a large variety of social, commercial and spiritual activities. Attendees are welcome to join or observe rituals, attend workshops, meet with a variety of local groups, and and much more, all in a festival environment full of vendors, music, and fun.
Many people have volunteered their time and resources to make this event happen. Here are a few that have taken direct responsibility for key aspects of the festival:
Michelle - Local Coordinator
My name is Michelle and this year I am the Local Coordinator for CNC-PPD.
I am originally from Boston, and I moved to the Raleigh area in 1999. I have been actively studying Paganism for over fifteen years now, and I have been involved with Church of the Earth for eleven years. This is my sixth year volunteering for CNC-PPD and previously I served on the board of Church of the Earth as both the Spirit/High Priestess and Air/Secretary.
While I find it hard to describe my faith in words, I tend to lean more to an Elemental Pagan, with a little bit of Hellenic and Dualism thrown in for spice. A thunderous sky, a quiet forest, and a bustling city are all equally important in my life, and I can't leave out my shoe collection!
For me, Pagan Pride Day is the time we can all come together as a strong, united group, and announce ourselves that we are here in your everyday lives, and that we are no different than anyone else. It is also a time for the groups in the community to come together, whether they are closed or open, and be as one, with no animosity.
Johnson - Local Coordinator
I'm Johnson and this year I am co-LC for CNCPPD with Michelle. Both deeply spiritual and terribly irreverent, I have followed Pagan paths for about 24 years, which is amazing since I am only 25. Really. Honest.
I was born in South Carolina, raised here in North Carolina, and recently spent 10 years working my way up the east coast, finally settling in Maine where I fell in love and got married. Once I had spent about 5 winters in Maine, I realized how much I liked it down here. We moved back a few years ago and will probably stay here in North Carolina for a long while.
Last year's festival was our first attempt at a 2 day event, and it was great, in many ways the largest and most successful PPD festival in the world. How do we top that? We do it again, but with even more attendees, more food donations, more blood donations, more press coverage, and above all, the most fun we can have with our cloths on.
Andrea - Vendors
My name is Andrea and this is my second year as Vendor Coordinator. Last year I also helped coordinate CNC PPD's second blood drive. I'm please to say that it was such a success, they immediately booked our event well in advance and will be back on Saturday, Sept. 18.
I'm originally from Pittsburgh, but I've been in the Raleigh area for going on four years. I'm a mother of two wonderful children and am married to a wonderful man.
I have long since realized that I started following a Pagan Path even before I understood what that meant to me. I consider myself a Natural Magickian, learning how to feel and use nature all around us. Pagan pride and PPD to me is all about spreading the understanding and combating the misunderstanding that most people believe that we are "evil".
Having been with Central NC PPD on staff for the last year I'm please to have a chance to step up and help more with the beginning stages of planning the event. Working with the Vendors this year and learning more about what goes into this event from start to finish has been a real eye opener. I feel very privileged to help our community put on such an awesome event.
Ric - Entertainment
I was born and raised in Raleigh, making me one of the few natives of Raleigh around. I've been interested in Witchcraft since the sixties, but it was only after going into the military and ending up in Virginia in the early eighties, and living with a Witch that I really got to start exploring it. We lived next door to a church, which was a little amusing.
I ended up getting the Celtic Witchcraft correspondence course from The Church and School Of Wicca, at that time it was in New Bern, which in itself I found to be rather novel. I studied up until the time that I got married for the first time and had to give it up for thirteen years. After which I was able to start again, and being fortunate enough to get involved with the group Kindred Gathering, I was finally able to start my path in earnest.
Since then I've been involved with a number of different groups, from Eclectic Paganism to Shadow Tradition Witchcraft, in the area. I consider myself to be a Traditional Witch. Sadly I've seen a number groups disappear in the recent years. But new ones have formed from the ashes, and thru it all The Church of the Earth has weathered all the storms to be the most enduring group in the area, a testament to the spiritual dedication of Steve and Anitra Stone. But wait, this was supposed to be my bio and not a place for me to shamelessly plug COTE.
Currently I run the Raleigh Goddess, Pagans, and Witches Meetup Groups, two Witchcraft related Yahoo Groups, am on the Board of Church of the Earth, as well as being the Entertainment Coordinator for the Central NC Pagan Pride Day. And don't worry; I'm not going to be part of the entertainment, no matter how funny I think I am.
Lastly I'm enjoying a second chance at happiness with a wonderful second wife and a house full of wonderful animals. I used to enjoy Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom as a child, now I'm living in it.
Greg - Public Relations
The G-Man is a member of the Ring of the Birch with the Henge of Keltria. He has been studying druidism for 15 years, and is called to the Bardic path and elements of the natural world including weather magick and animal divination. The G-Man and his family relocated to Raleigh from California in 2008, and have found the City of Oaks to be very kind.
Professionally, he has been involved in marketing for over 20 years with expertise in marketing strategy, public relations, and research. Prior to coming to North Carolina, The G-Man was involved in PPD festivals in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles.
Walk with wisdom /|\
Stephanie - Kids' Activities
Greetings all! and thank you for reviewing my bio. My name is Stephanie and I am a pagan Mother. Raising two daughters with all the trappings of a good solid pagan home and what life affords us. I am not geographically from Raleigh and transplanted from a land far far away about 1 1/2 years ago. My entire family likes living here very much and we plan to stay for a long time.
I have been a Witch for all my life and is how I identify myself in the pagan world. Outside of that realm, I am simply pagan. I am in my mid-forties and have been married to my spouse Greg for ten years. We are an openly Poly couple and have lots of interaction and many friends within the pagan world in the United States.
I have previously held the task of coordinator for IEPPD, children activities. And feel comfortable with the skills developed from that experience. I understand the ever continuing needs of the pagan community and our children. Where it all fits together. With love and dedication.
It has also been my pleasure to hold an astrology workshop at the first annual NMPPD in New Mexico. Clearly, I've been to a more than few different PPD's around the country. I can say with confidence, that CNCPPD is the largest and most well attended of them that I have had the pleasure of visiting. In saying that - let's please keep it that way!
Visit CNCPPD with confidence and for the entire weekend with your children. I know what it takes to make it a great time for the entire family. And keep checking the updates here more will be added as we get closer to the actual date of the event.
If you have any questions of me or wish to offer support for the event with your time or in some other way please contact me. I am grateful for any and all support.
Daddio - Technical Director
My name is Daddio Mangum and I'm the Technical Director for this year's event. This is my first year as an official staff member but my 4th year doing sound for this wonderful project.
I'm a native of Raleigh making Ric and myself members of an "elite" group. I'm a member of the Church of the Earth, a member of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), a member of the Order of the Yew, and the Southeastern Woodlands Coordinator for the Druid Network.
I do Lighting, Audio, Video, Computer Graphics and Design and A/V for the Entertainment/Edutainment Industry specializing in live events. I look forward to meeting everyone and helping create a successful and memorable event for all.
Melissa - Auction & Raffles
This is not Melissa.
Well, the picture isn't me, but this is:
I'm a Yankee at heart, an original from Pittsburgh, PA and have been in Raleigh almost a year and a half now. After Snowmageddon this past winter, I've decided I'm not likely to move back north any time soon.
As I look back, it occurs to me that I've probably always followed Pagan spirituality, though it's only been within the last year that I've immersed myself in finding guidance and others like me. I have no set definition of what that path is just yet, only that it's ever changing as I learn and discover more about the world around me, myself and what I need to feel whole. My search brought me to Church of the Earth and last year's PPD.