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Atlanta Pride ED steps down to take job with the Health Initiative

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Atlanta Pride Executive Director James Parker Sheffield is stepping down after more than a decade with the largest Pride fest in the Southeast, organization officials announced today. An interim manager will be named until an open search for a new executive director gets underway.

Sheffield is leaving the Atlanta Pride top spot to take a job as Director of Organizational Development a the Health Initiative where he will be working closely with the Health Initiative's longtime executive director Linda Ellis.

“It was not an easy decision, as I am emotionally invested in the Atlanta Pride Committee," Sheffield said today in a statement announcing the news. Sheffield began working for Atlanta Pride in 2000 and took over the helms at the executive director after the 2009 fest.

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Atlanta Pride releases nightlife schedule

This year's Atlanta Pride festival will take place during the second weekend of October

The Atlanta Pride Committee today released its schedule of nightlife events for the 41st Atlanta Pride Festival. The kick-off party will be held once again at the Georgia Aquarium, while the APC will partner with Chris Coleman Enterprises, Club Jungle and Pandora Events for other nightlife events during the Oct. 8-9 weekend.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with some of the most talented club entertainment promoters in the city,” said JP Sheffield, executive director of the Atlanta Pride Committee.

“These additional programs help round out the weekend, as well as provide us with the opportunity to partner with local businesses,” Sheffield added.

As in the recent past, the APC will officially kick off Atlanta Pride at the Georgia Aquarium on Oct. 7. The official kickoff after party will be held at Club Jungle and will feature DJ Ed Bailey.

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Atlanta Pride taps six grand marshals for annual parade

The six grand marshals for this year’s Atlanta Pride parade range from a longtime member of the leather community to a Latina queer immigration rights activist. There will also be a contingent of HIV activists marching as grand marshals to honor the 30th anniversary of the disease that decimated the gay community.

“There’s not one person on this list who wasn’t nominated by the community,” said Atlanta Pride Executive Director JP Sheffield.

Atlanta Pride will be held Oct. 8-9 in conjunction with National Coming Out Day.

The Atlanta Pride Committee — a total of 25 people including the board of directors, committee members and staff — chose the grand marshals from names submitted by the community during a one-month open nomination period, Sheffield said.

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Perfect weather brings tens of thousands to 40th annual Atlanta Pride

Volunteers carry a massive rainbow flag during the Pride parade

Tens of thousands flocked to Piedmont Park last weekend to celebrate the 40th year of Atlanta Pride and were greeted with clear skies and warm weather, perfect for lying on the grass and listening to music, marching and circling the marketplace for free swag.

For organizers, this year was also one that desperately needed to go well.

“It was a really, really good Pride,” said James Parker Sheffield, executive director of Atlanta Pride, reflecting on the Oct. 9-10 festival. “Atlanta had been needing that. I was really glad we could deliver.”

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Atlanta City Council honors 40 years of Atlanta Pride

Atlanta Pride Executive Director JP Sheffield speaks at the Atlanta City Council Chambers

The Atlanta City Council presented the Atlanta Pride Committee a proclamation today to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Atlanta Pride during its regular council meeting.

The annual fest takes place this weekend at Piedmont Park.

Alex Wan, the first openly gay male elected to the City Council, presented the proclamation to the APC, saying that while Atlanta Pride marks a milestone of 40 years, he also is marking a milestone in his life.