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Highlights of the 43rd annual Atlanta Pride fest offer something for everyone

(Vicki Powell again spins at this year's official Atlanta Pride kick-off part at the Georgia Aquarium. Photo by Brent Rence Corcoran/RNZ Photography)

FRIDAY, OCT. 11

Fifth Annual Official Atlanta Pride Kick-off Party at the Georgia Aquarium
7 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
This event is a great way to kickoff the Atlanta Pride weekend with over 4,000 of your closest friends! In 2012, this event won the prestigious event industry ALLIE AWARD for Best Themed Party in Atlanta.

This is an amazing way to experience the Georgia Aquarium with special evening hours and exclusive admission pricing just for Atlanta Pride. Imagine exploring the world’s largest, most magical aquarium with dim lighting and the sounds of Atlanta’s very own DJ Vicki Powell. This year DJ Chris Griswold will be adding to the experience with his signature sound in our Oceans Ballroom located on the second level.

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PETA again puts pressure on Pride to relocate kick-off party

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The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals is again urging Atlanta Pride to relocate its official kick-off party from the Georgia Aquarium, a place the radical organization described as a "a building that celebrates captivity."

But Atlanta Pride officials continue to rebut the radical animal rights organization's pleas and say there is "zero chance" the party will be moved.

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Atlanta Pride announces VIP program for 2013 festival

2011 Atlanta Pride kickoff party at Georgia Aquarium

The Atlanta Pride Committee today announced a VIP program for festival-goers to this year's upcoming Pride Oct. 12-13. Tickets start at $175 when purchased in advance but jump to $200 if purchased the weekend of the festival.

This is the first year in recent memory that Atlanta Pride has offered this level of VIP experience, organizers said.

Included in the VIP pass is access to a private seating area in Piedmont Park's meadow, private restroom facilities and other goodies.

Buck Cooke, Executive Director of the Atlanta Pride Committee, hyped the new passes in a statement released today.

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DJs Vicki Powell, Chris Griswold to spin Atlanta Pride Kickoff Party

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The Atlanta Pride Committee today announced details for its upcoming Official Kickoff Party to be held at the Georgia Aquarium. The event, now in its 5th year, will be held Friday, Oct. 11, from 7-11:30 p.m. It will feature headliner DJ Vicki Powell spinning in the Atrium and DJ Chris Griswold in the Oceans Ballroom.

“Atlanta Pride is delighted to return to Georgia Aquarium for our fifth annual Official Kick-off Party,” APC Executive Director Buck Cooke said in a prepared statement. “As always, we are excited to see what our partners at Georgia Aquarium come up with in terms of ambiance and decoration for one of the most marvelous cocktail parties in Atlanta.”

Tickets for the event are $25 for general admission, $30 at the door and $80 for lounge tickets. Last year’s event sold out. Tickets are available here.

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Fashionista Tim Gunn calls out Atlanta Pride over aquarium party

Tim Gunn

The Atlanta Pride Committee is again under fire for its Georgia Aquarium official kick-off event over concerns for the health of the marine animals there.

Tim Gunn, known for his role on TV's “Project Runway,” has written a letter to Atlanta Pride Committee Executive Director Buck Cooke, urging Cooke and the Atlanta Pride Committee to change venues for the Oct. 11 Atlanta Pride Kick-off Party.

Gunn, writing on behalf of animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), called the event “disturbing” for the animals housed at the aquarium and called on the APC to find another venue. (See a full copy of the letter below.)