Atlanta’s Black Pride festivities kicked off on August 29th, the beginning of Labor Day weekend.

On Sunday, September 2nd, Atlanta’s largest Black Pride annual festival took place in the heart of the city’s treasured landmark, Piedmont Park.

The Pure Heat Community Festival was an eight-hour extravaganza, featuring a crowd donning a sprightly rainbow aura, loads of unhealthy food, the catchiest tunes from local artists, and various forms of fascinating entertainment (provocative art, krumping and twerking). Pure Heat wasn’t just a celebration of Pride and Black culture. The ceremony was fully committed to bringing awareness, education, and prevention of HIV/AIDS to the gathered crowds.

The name of the festival lived up to its name. The weather stood at a solid ninety degrees with no sign of a breeze, clear blue skies, and nothing but humidity. The shaded areas were all occupied by attendees looking to chit-chat, and watchers enjoying the display of attendees willing to play sports in the fiery sun.

Not many attendees exhibited any fear of the torrid climate. I’m still convinced that I grew gills that day.

Folks were posting up spacious tents (I’d consider living in one, for reals), beige folding tables full of southern cuisine, coolers full of adult beverages, and comfortable lawn chairs with two cup holders, one for water, and the other for drank.

There was also a familiar smell of a particular plant that brought me back to playing in a band in high school.

Spectators eagerly awaited to witness the ongoing events taking place on the main stage that stood near the entrance off of Monroe Drive. DJ Big Daddy held down the microphone along with Ravin.

There were numerous musical performances, dance competitions, advocates for love, countless vendors in support of phenomenal causes, and comical events that I cannot write about in this article due to their graphic nature.

As I made my exit, a DJ blared Molly Breezy’s Trust None as a machine catapulted bubbles into the city’s skyline view, right along the edge of the park’s pond. I was lucky enough to converse with people from Detroit, Charlotte, San Francisco, and London. Every single one of them has a special place in their heart for Atlanta, and The Pure Heat Community Festival was one of the many reasons why.

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