Atlanta Pride doesn't take place until October, but at least three Georgia cities will host gay pride celebrations on the traditional last weekend in June. The Marietta Rainbow Festival is set for June 24-25, while Augusta Pride and East Side Pride take place June 25.
The Marietta festival is again hosted by the North Georgia Rainbow Coalition and takes place indoors at the New LeBuzz, Marietta's sole gay bar. The club has a new, larger home at 585 Franklin Road SE in Marietta, and the festival will be held there and at Enigma, next door.
Hours are 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday, June 24, and 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday, June 25. Daytime events are family-friendly and open to everyone; events after 10 p.m. are aimed at adults ages 18 and over, according to Johnathon Murphy, a festival organizer and leader of LeBuzz.
“We’re loud, proud and East of the Perimeter.” That’s the motto of East Side Pride, which hosts its second annual Pride picnic on June 25 at Clarkston’s Milam Park.
East Side Pride is open to everyone, but focuses on communities east of Atlanta including Avondale Estates, Clarkston, Dial Heights, Dunaire, Pine Lake, Scottdale, Smoke Rise, Stone Mountain and Tucker.
First organized by Lorrie King, wife of Clarkston City Councilmember Adam White, East Side Pride has grown over the last year to encompass more volunteers and offer additional events, including group meals and service projects.
“Last year, with the overwhelming response we got, there was just a great sense of satisfaction that this is what Clarkston is about, and I was so proud,” King said. “So many people said thank you, that we needed this all along, and I knew I wanted to keep it going.”
The first-ever East Side Pride drew a diverse crowd to Clarkston’s Milam Park on June 26 for an afternoon of cooking out, dancing, lawn games and playing on the playground — all while building community for LGBT people who live east of Atlanta.
“I think this year’s picnic was a great launching point,” said Lorrie King, organizer of East Side Pride with her husband, Clarkston City Councilmember Adam White.
King estimated that as many as 125 people dropped in over the course of the afternoon, including several who said they had to see with their own eyes a Pride event in the eastern suburb.