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Augusta Pride draws diverse crowd of thousands

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The fourth annual Augusta Pride took over the Augusta Commons with a new dance party June 21, then the now traditional parade and festival June 22.

Bob Molle and Dennis Hage, partners for 36 years, traveled to Augusta from upstate New York to enjoy the festival with friends while celebrating Hage’s 75th birthday.

“There seems to be so much love,” Molle said. “It’s a little loud, just because we are old, but everyone is getting along as brothers and sisters.

“There are also a lot of children here, and that’s nice, because when we first came out you couldn’t have kids without people looking at you,” he added.

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Augusta Pride returns for fourth year

Frenchie Davis

Augusta Pride expands this year to two days, offering an outdoor dance party the night before the fourth annual festival packs the Augusta Commons.

“Beats on Broad” debuts on Friday evening, June 21, as DJ Kaos from Club One, the popular gay nightclub in Savannah, spins from 6-11 p.m. in what organizers bill as “Augusta’s largest outdoor dance party.” Cover is $5, and some festival vendors will already be set up and open for business.

The next morning, Saturday, June 22, the Augusta Pride parade steps off at 10 a.m. to head down Broad Street to the Augusta Commons. The annual procession of decorated golf carts, trucks, floats and marchers draws crowds of cheering fans and usually a handful of anti-gay protesters.

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Upcoming fests celebrate LGBT life in Athens, Savannah, Valdosta and Columbus

Georgia pride festivals

June might be National LGBT Pride Month, but fall is when Pride season really heats up in Georgia. In addition to Black Gay Pride in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, four areas around the state host Pride events in September, followed by the massive Atlanta Pride in October.

The second annual Athens Pride Weekend, set for Sept. 6-9, features several events rather than one large festival. It launches Sept. 6 with the 18th annual GLOBES reception at the University of Georgia and an after-party, and concludes Sunday, Sept. 9, with a Pride church service at Our Hope MCC, a commitment ceremony, a Pride picnic at Lake Herrick Pavilion at UGA, and a cabaret.

The same weekend, Savannah Pride pulls out all the stops for the city’s 13th annual Pride Fest, planned for noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, in Forsyth Park.