DJs, live music, drag kings and drag queens will be part of the weekend, as will 100 entertainers, vendors, a flea market and more. This year’s theme is “Unleashed,” says Murphy.
“In light of everything that is going — inspiring us to break down barriers — we thought that was appropriate,” he says.
New to 2013 is a headlining entertainer: Chi Chi LaRue. The adult film director turned DJ will be in town July 26-27.
“Chi Chi is the first headliner we’ve had and we are very excited,” says Murphy. “She’ll be here for opening night, doing some emceeing, and there will also be a meet and greet.”
Murphy hopes she’ll bring in some of her hunky performers, as well.
In 2012 organizers established the first Family Fun Zone. It was a popular addition, giving straight attendees and LGBT parents something to do with their kids while they were at other events.
“From 2 until 6 p.m. on Saturday, we’ll have games, face painting and a special children’s show,” says Murphy. The entertainers for the children’s show will largely be composed of LeBuzz entertainers.
Originally, the event took place in June but there were a few issues with permits, says Murphy, so organizers had to move to the back-up July date. That has since stuck. Murphy likes the fact that the event now takes place away from other Pride events in June as well as local Stonewall Month activities to give it more of its own identity.
He is ecstatic with the increased number of sponsors for the 2013 event.
“It has allowed us take this celebration to another level and give more to those in our community in North Georgia,” he says.
Approximately 25 volunteers make the weekend event happen – many of them LeBuzz staffers and their respective boyfriends and girlfriends.
The city of Marietta is not an official sponsor of Pride but has been mostly tolerant. The first year of the event had some stray complications. According to Murphy, there were some comments in the local newspaper, the Marietta Daily Journal, about it, and some protests, but these days there is “virtually nothing.”
He feels it’s important that North Georgia and Marietta have their own Pride event.
“Our people come from all over,” he says. “They are very diverse. Many don’t go to the bars. They may be new or intimidated to come to the bars in Atlanta, so it’s nice to have this.”
Every year the event gives back to charity and this year’s recipient is The Health Initiative, which focuses on LGBT health and wellness throughout Georgia. Although Pride is free for all attendees, donations raised will go to the charity. Additionally, a Sunday dinner at Hudson Grille will raise money.
Top photo: North Georgia Marietta Pride celebrates the LGBT community north of Atlanta with a mix of nightlife and family-friendly activities. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)