Welcome to Atlanta where Pride is in October instead of June. That’s right, in the LGBTQ capital of the south we celebrate Pride in October, and this year it was the weekend of October 12th - October 14th! Atlanta hasn’t always held this event in early fall, this all changed a few years ago when drought regulations forced the city to change dates. Never the less, this fabulous event is sure to bring out all sorts of fun personalities to enjoy unity and acceptance.
48 years ago, Atlanta hosted it’s very first Pride Festival. The first Pride, formerly called Atlanta Gay Pride Festival, was held one year after the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots were impactful for the LGBTQ community, at a time in the late 60’s and early 70’s where being anything other than straight was illegal in the majority of states. On June 28, 1969, the night of the Stonewall riots, police raided the Stonewall Inn where everyone cooperated until police brutally forced three drag queens and a lesbian into the back of a cop car. It sparked outrage within the community. As a result, the event was born.
The first parade was hardly a parade and more of a march down Peachtree Street in Atlanta. There was no media coverage of the event, and no documentation. Just two years later this event grew to hundreds of people and garnered media coverage. In 1973 homophobia was still very prevalent in society, so marchers wore bags over their heads to hide their identity out of fear. Fast forward to 2010 when the Atlanta Pride Festival brought in twenty-five million dollars to the city. In 2017 the fest brought out more than 300,000 patrons from all around the south to come together in unity, love, and support of one another.
Nowadays the festival is held at Piedmont Park, located in the heart of Midtown, Atlanta. If you’re not familiar with Atlanta, Midtown is the part of Atlanta that is like Pride Fest all year round. Here we have a rainbow crosswalk at 10th & Piedmont intersection, gay-owned bookstores, bars, restaurants, along with other things relating to the community all in one place. As you can see, there is no better place than Piedmont Park for this event.
So, what goes on at the festival? There are artists from all over that performs throughout the weekend. The annual parade starts at the Civic Center Marta and finishes at Piedmont Park. Throughout the weekend, so many local businesses support Pride, multiple artists perform live, tons of vendors are present, variety shows and lots of rainbow flags flying. In short, you can expect to have a great time with friendly people who just want to celebrate who they are.
Have you ever been to Atlanta Pride Festival? If so be sure to share your experiences and photos with us!
You can find out more information on Atlanta pride here.