10 things to do before you leave Piedmont Park on Sunday
The Starlight Cabaret ends Pride weekend on a particularly high note, closing out the Coca-Cola stage at 7 p.m. Sunday evening. For many, it is one of the highlights of the entire weekend of activities, as Atlanta’s drag queens and kings bring out their best performances for their largest audience of the year.
Tony Kearney, who handles programming for the Atlanta Pride Committee, has been involved in putting the cabaret together for the last five years. It’s the largest celebration of its kind in the Southeast and retains much of the day’s crowd.
“It’s amazing to see how many people are still in the park after Pride,” Kearney said. “Last year there were around 5,000 people enjoying the show.”
Atlanta’s Pride festival wouldn’t be complete without the annual parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. Each year, the parade draws tens of thousands along the traditional route down Peachtree Street to 10th Street and Piedmont Park.
Organizers say more than 200 entrants have signed on this year, ranging from local nonprofit organizations to politicians, gay-friendly businesses and multi-national corporations.
The grand marshals for the 2012 parade are trans activist Vandy Beth Glenn; Rev. Joshua Noblitt, minister of social justice at Saint Mark United Methodist Church; Jeff Graham, Georgia Equality executive director; Danny Ingram, American Veterans for Equal Rights executive director; Dr. Julie Kubala, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies for the Women’s Studies Institute at Georgia State University; Anita Rae Strange, “AKA Clermont Blondie”; the Alpha Chapter of Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc. and drag fundraising troupe The Armorettes.
Annual event draws tens of thousands to Midtown
One of the most popular traditions at Atlanta Pride is the annual Dyke March, set for the afternoon of Saturday, October 13th.
Long a favorite, the Dyke March is a demonstration of the visibility, the political value, and the passion of dykes and all women-identified women, according to Jamie Green-Fergerson, Atlanta Pride’s board of directors vice chair.
“We are a diverse group of marchers, and we march in solidarity with all those who struggle against sexism, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, classism, ableism, fatphobia, transphobia, ageism, and other forms of marginalization,” she said.