Atlanta Pride anchors fall events calendar

The MEGA conference attracts between 200 to 300 people who typically are in a longterm relationship but may not have children yet.

“We have a resource fair where we have different businesses and organizations that offer services for families,” Kelly said. “We normally have people who have kids, people who want to have kids, and then we just have couples who come because we offer things strictly for couples like strengthening your relationship legally.”

Familiar favorites

Atlanta Pride is now in its third year as a fall festival. Executive Director James Sheffield said this year’s event is on pace to match its historic highs when it was held in June.

“Last year the [vendor spaces] sold out before the event opened and this year the pace has doubled, so I would expect this year’s festival to be bigger than last year,” he said. “If I had to go out on a limb… I would say we’re probably in the ballpark of 200,000… We are definitely back on pace for the 2007 numbers.”

Both Pride and the AIDS Walk will strongly resemble previous events, as the AIDS Walk works to build on its history as the largest HIV fundraiser in the South.

“We’re doing everything we can to cut back on expenses, not in a way that anyone will notice,” AID Atlanta Executive Direct Tracey Elliott said.

The annual event brings in nearly $1 million that is divided between a numbers of AIDS relief organizations in metro Atlanta.

“The AIDS Walk is critically important to AID Atlanta, because it’s the largest source of unrestricted funds, which we can administer our non-grant funded services,” Elliott said.

The Sunday afternoon 5k walk and run is one of the few large events in Atlanta that draws support from both gay and straight groups.

“We have more runners this year,” Elliot said. “We’ve been making the effort to attract more runners, and build that side of the event.”

Serious sides

Another event that was pushed back into November is the Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board Town Hall Forum with Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta Police Chief George Turner. Originally scheduled for late September, the event was pushed back to Nov. 1 after conflicting with the Jewish holidays and other large gay events.

Organizer Glen Paul Freeman said the meeting is planned to cover general community and public safety concerns, as well as ongoing controversy over the Eagle raid. Patrons in the gay bar during the raid sued the city in federal court and won a $1.025 million settlement in December. Two more lawsuits were filed this month, but Freeman said the town hall has an open format.

“This is not an Eagle raid town hall, this is a town hall meeting hosted by the advisory board, but anyone can ask any question on any other topic,” he said.

As the weather turns colder some of the events become more somber. Transgender Day of Remembrance is scheduled for Nov. 20, and World AIDS Day will take place on Dec. 1, before the year finishes off with two toy drives.

The Toy Party raises money and toys for disadvantaged children in the metro area. For the second year, MEGA will also host its own toy drive.


Atlanta Cotillion
Sept. 17, 7 – 11 p.m.
The Foundry at Puritan Mill

South Georgia Pride
Sept. 17, Noon – 6 p.m.
John W. Saunders Memorial Park

Atlanta Arts Festival
Sept. 17-18 in Piedmont Park

Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative Fall Garden Party
Sept. 18, 4 – 8 p.m. at Einstein’s

Southern Comfort Conference
Sept. 21-25 at Crown Plaza Ravinia

AEN, AGLCC, and Out & Equal Fall Fling Speed Networking
Sept. 22, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Melia Hotel,

Athens Pride Weekend
Sept. 22-25 at Multiple venues in Athens, GA

Midtown Festival of the Arts
Sept. 24-25
Peachtree Street between 10th & 5th Streets

Out on Film
Sept. 29 – Oct. 6
Landmark Midtown Art Cinema


Atlanta Field Day for CHRIS Kids
Oct. 1, 9 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian

Celebrate GLAAD at 25
Oct. 1, 7:30 – 11 p.m. at Mason Murer Fine Art

Atlanta Pride
Oct, 8 – 9 in Piedmont Park

AIDS Walk Atlanta
Oct 16, 1 pm in Piedmont Park

Carnevale: Myths & Legends, a Jerusalem House Benefit
Oct. 22, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. at Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Atlanta Pride Ride at Arabia Mountain Trail
Oct. 22, 8:30 a.m. – noon at Stonecrest Mall

HRC Atlanta Annual Golf Tournament
Oct. 23, 1:30 p.m. at Legacy on Lake Lanier

MEGA Family Project Halloween Party
Oct. 29, time TBA


LGBT town hall with Mayor Kasim Reed
Nov. 1, 7 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Saint Mark United Methodist Church.

Annual MEGA Family Project Family Conference
Nov. 5, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta

Transgender Day of Remembrance
Nov. 20, Details TBA


Toy Party
Dec. 5 at America’s Mart


Top photo: Pride takes place on Oct. 8-9 in Piedmont Park, which coincides with National Coming Out Day Weekend (by Bo Shell)