The big Atlanta Pride celebration isn’t until October, but you can still get your fill of Peach State Prides in June. Both the Augusta Pride and Southwest Atlanta Pride festivities take place this weekend.
Southwest Atlanta Pride began in 2013, primarily for the in-town corridor neighborhoods like West End Historic district, Adair Park, Capitol View Manor and the Cascade area.
“We were just trying to find a place for us, safe spaces on our side; great places where we can come together with families like us,” said Alisha Thym of the Southwest Atlanta Pride Committee.
On Friday, Gallery 992 will play host to an artist showcase of local talent, including Phylle, McKeith Cordell and DJ Deb. The highly anticipated VIP Pride Brunch takes place Saturday at the new Greens & Gravy Restaurant, which Thym said has been booked since it opened. “Pride in the Park” will round out the weekend on Sunday in Adair Park, with plenty of fun for the whole family.
“We all love Atlanta Pride so much. Atlanta Pride weekend is a celebration in and of itself. You don’t plan anything that weekend. You take off work and go to Atlanta Pride,” Thym said.
Southwest Atlanta Pride, rather, serves as an Atlanta area celebration during Pride Month. It’s also pulling double duty as a celebration of the southwest area of the city, a hometown pride, of sorts.
“Sometimes we can be forgotten. … We all kind of get clumped together and people forget that there’s amazing homes, amazing businesses,” Thym said. “With the BeltLine sort of coming through southwest neighborhoods, folks are proud and we’re happy to be able to now have places that we can go.”
Pride in the Garden City
Recording artist Bebe Rexha headlines this weekend’s festivities at Augusta Pride, taking over the Augusta Common downtown. Admission to the Beats on Broad show, which ends in the city’s largest outdoor dance party, is $10, said Eric Dryer, media director for Augusta Pride.
The official parade and festival are Saturday, followed by the unofficial Pride event “Ain’t Misbehavin’ Pool Party” Sunday on Gordon Highway.
Drag queen Venus D’Lite, nee Adam Guerra, will perform during the Pride festivities, as well as a number of local queens and musicians, Dryer said.
“It really all begins with something very basic for us, which is our sense of community,” he said. “People are very curious about the LGBT community. It’s a great way to encourage people to maybe step out of those environments and maybe step into our events and see what our community is about. It also affords us the opportunity to have people come out and experience some of the local businesses.”
In between the parade and performances Saturday, Dryer said the Augusta Common field will fill with food and gift vendors from across the Central Savannah River Area.
Augusta Pride June 23 – 25 www.prideaugusta.org
Southwest Atlanta Pride June 23 – 25 www.facebook.com/SouthwestAtlantaPride