Atlanta Pride doesn't take place until October, but at least three Georgia cities will host gay pride celebrations on the traditional last weekend in June. The Marietta Rainbow Festival is set for June 24-25, while Augusta Pride and East Side Pride take place June 25.
The Marietta festival is again hosted by the North Georgia Rainbow Coalition and takes place indoors at the New LeBuzz, Marietta's sole gay bar. The club has a new, larger home at 585 Franklin Road SE in Marietta, and the festival will be held there and at Enigma, next door.
Hours are 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday, June 24, and 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday, June 25. Daytime events are family-friendly and open to everyone; events after 10 p.m. are aimed at adults ages 18 and over, according to Johnathon Murphy, a festival organizer and leader of LeBuzz.
Events include vendors, DJs, live bands, drag shows and a dance party with Mistress of Ceremonies Destiny Brooks. Daytime events feature family activities like snow cones and a duck derby, according to Murphy.
Some 40 percent of proceeds will got to Project Live Love, “a non-profit organization designed to influence culture through love in action by engaging, networking and mobilizing people who are motivated by love [www.projectlivelove.com], ” according to a press release from the Rainbow Festival.
Augusta Pride, East Side Pride
Pride festivals are traditionally held the last weekend in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, fought back against police harassment in what is widely seen as a turning point for gay rights.
The second annual Augusta Pride, set for June 25, hopes to build on the success of 2010’s inaugural festival and reach an even larger audience with the theme “Love Wins.”
This year’s event features dance music diva Kristine W and Niki Haris — known as “the voice behind Madonna” and an accomplished in her own right — as the headliners.
Celebrity grand marshal Larry Flick of “Out Q” on Sirius/XM radio will host the stage. Other grand marshals for 2011 include “Daddy Keith” Buck, manager of Club Argos, as community grand marshal; and Deborah Ivins, an AIDS activist and HIV/AIDS patient educator and outreach coordinator at the Medical College of Georgia, as the lifetime achievement grand marshal.
The festival kicks off with a parade at 10 a.m. , followed by the festival from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Augusta Commons, located downtown at Broad Street between 8th and 9th streets.
Also on June 25, East Side Pride hosts its second annual Pride picnic at Clarkston’s Milam Park.
East Side Pride is open to everyone, but focuses on communities east of Atlanta including Avondale Estates, Clarkston, Dial Heights, Dunaire, Pine Lake, Scottdale, Smoke Rise, Stone Mountain and Tucker.
This year, the East Side Pride picnic will again feature DJ Duck and a potluck meal, with attendees invited to bring an item to grill and a side dish to share. Due to the heat and Stonewall events going on the same day in Atlanta, this year’s event was moved to later in the day, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.