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First fall Athens Pride deemed ‘incredible’

2011 Athens Pride festival in downtown Athens

Over the course of several days last week, hundreds of Athens, Ga., residents turned out for the first Athens Pride to take place in the fall.

“It was always just the picnic before, and I always felt — even though they were nice and you got to mingle — we were still hidden,” said Mike Chadwick, chair of Athens Pride this year. “By doing the events downtown I think we got a lot more participation. I was thrilled at the group there on Friday night at Dragaoke.”

The first annual Athens Pride Weekend spanned Sept. 22-25. In addition to the annual picnic, this year the Pride celebration also included a silent auction to benefit the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition, Dragaoke, a dance, a “Celebration of Commitment” ceremony and other activities.

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Marietta’s first Gay Pride event a success, say organizers

Brent Starr and Johnathan Murphy at Marietta Pride

Hundreds of people packed into the plaza where the new LeBuzz is located for the very first Marietta Rainbow Festival — a celebration of gay Pride in Cobb County where county officials once declared being gay was considered incompatible with community standards.

“We’re having a really good time. We’re really pleased with support from the gay community and the straight community,” said Johnathan Murphy, the president and managing partner of LeBuzz who also heads up the North Georgia Rainbow Coalition, which organized the first Marietta Rainbow Festival on July 24.