Over at the Georgia Aquarium, it’s likely that the penguins are cleaning their tuxes and the beluga whales are making sure their smiles are extra shiny as they prepare to host what has quickly become one of the most popular and unique parties in Atlanta. For the third year in a row, thousands of Atlanta Pride celebrants will toast the start of Pride with the official kick-off party a the Georgia Aquarium on Friday, Oct. 7.
“It’s just really fun to be able to have a Pride that’s big in the Southeast and be able to have the biggest attraction in Atlanta be a part of it,” said Will Ramsey, vice president of sales at the Georgia Aquarium. “That was our whole original vision: with so many people coming to Pride regionally, to make sure they experience the Aquarium when they came to Atlanta.”
Ramsey and his colleague John Walker have helped make the Georgia Aquarium a staple of Atlanta Pride, a surprising partnership to some.
“I think people were surprised when they first heard that the Aquarium was the official opening party for Pride, but I think it’s a great surprise and I think that people truly love being able to come to the aquarium after hours and enjoy it,” Ramsey said.
While on a cruise ship, co-organizer Walker met “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant Jujubee, and ultimately wooed her into performing at this year’s party.
“They became friends and it just kind of worked out and Jujubee is excited about the event,” Ramsey said. “We wanted to be able to add more to the event and it was just kind of the perfect fit.”
The kick-off party also features the Atlanta debut of DJ Corey Craig in the main ballroom, while local favorite DJ McCracken spins a Top 40-free set in the Ocean’s Ballroom.
“Typically, that’s all they want to hear: Britney Spears and Katy Perry,” McCracken said. “It’s alright, but my preference is actually the music itself and so it will be nice for me to be able to play that type of music to such a large crowd.”
Top Photo: 2010 Atlanta Pride Kickoff Party (by Brent Corcoran/RNZ Photography)