Local favorites light up the Pride stages

There’s been so much talk about the big names at the top of this year’s Atlanta Pride’s entertainment lineup, like Colbie Caillat, Meghan Trainor, Lea DeLaria and Amber. But there’s an eclectic group of talente...
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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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[Photos] Starlight Cabaret closes Atlanta Pride in drag splendor

Starlight Cabaret

The best drag performers from Atlanta, Decatur, Marietta and even Athens took the Atlanta Pride stage for Sunday evening’s Starlight Cabaret, closing out the annual festival in a fitting finale of wigs, glitter and glamour.

The show opened with the Armorettes, the camp drag troupe that recently celebrated raising $2 million for the fight against HIV, and closed with all of the performers and Pride volunteers on stage for “Seasons of Love.”

In between were dozens of drag queens and kings who strutted, posed, twirled, shimmied and shook to tunes ranging from hip-hop to country, with plenty of dance divas in the mix.

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Pride: Starlight Cabaret ends Pride on glamorous note

Starlight Cabaret

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.”

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Starlight Cabaret ends Pride on ‘uplifting’ note

Atlanta Pride's Starlight Cabaret

As a semi-retired member of the drag troupe the Armorettes, Tony Kearney doesn’t don his heels and wigs as frequently as he used to. However, there’s a magic to the Starlight Cabaret that closes Atlanta Pride that makes him rush to his closet to unleash his drag alter ego, Wild Cherry Sucret.

“It’s just, when you look out and there’s a sea of people, and they’re every race, and color, and age,” Kearney said of the Starlight Cabaret, which takes place at 7:05 p.m. on the Coca-Cola stage Oct. 9. “There’s a lot of different kids that come to it who never get to see Atlanta’s drag shows.

“Atlanta used to be like the hub of drag in the country, and it’s kind of different now without the big bars and the big stages,” Kearney added. “It’s an opportunity for a lot of people to shine, and a lot of people come out who normally wouldn’t see them perform.”