It’s no secret that Atlanta is the LGBTQ capital of the South. No other city packs a year-round calendar of events catering to the gay community, and just last year Atlanta was named the number-one rising star destination for LGBT travelers, further establishing the city’s reputation as a welcoming metropolis for all.
Without a doubt, Midtown continues to be the gayborhood, filled with the hottest gay clubs and bars, like Blake’s on the Park and Bulldogs. But there are plenty things to do anywhere in the metro area. You can see Atlanta’s largest drag show at East Point or enjoy the charm and quaint streets of Avondale Estates, home to the most gay couples in Georgia.
And it’s not just great nightlife that Atlanta has to offer. You can hop on a traditional Peachtree Trolley to check out all the major attractions and city sights. Maybe spend an afternoon discovering the history of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place through interactive exhibits.
When it comes to celebrating Pride, Atlantans know what they’re doing. Atlanta Pride is the largest Pride event in the southeast, and it’s unique in that it’s free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity of the local LGBTQ community and sponsors.
For the first time this year, the Atlanta Pride Festival will feature three stages, filled with dynamic performers and exciting acts throughout the weekend. And that’s just the beginning! Clear your schedule and grab a rainbow flag.
Here are 5 of the best Atlanta Pride events taking place this weekend:
What better way to kick off Pride on Friday, Oct. 13 than partying at the world’s largest aquarium? More than 500 species from around the globe live here in over 10 million gallons of water.
This year ticket holders can expect access to all available Aquarium exhibits, cash bars, a special presentation of the AT&T Dolphin Celebration and entertainment from DJ Joey Zeb in the Aquarium’s Atrium and DJ Edil Hernandez in the Oceans Ballroom.
DJ Joe Gauthreaux is a well-known name in the world of clubs and events. He’s played almost every major circuit event the world over, from Winter Party Festival and Black Party to White Party Miami and Song Kran Bangkok. His performances are always a real treat for music-lovers.
But Jungle Atlanta (taking place Saturday, Oct. 14) wouldn’t be complete without a performance by Atlanta’s very own Drag Race alum Phoenix, who is a mainstay of the city’s drag scene.
You have to watch the Pride parade on Sunday, but standing in the crowd is for beginners. Indulge in some VIP treatment at this 16th annual Pride brunch. Guests will enjoy two hours of complimentary cocktails and a delicious Southern brunch at Empire State South, which is a prime location overlooking the parade route.
Attendees will dance to the music of DJ Canvas, eat, drink and celebrate pride, all while benefiting the work of the Human Rights Campaign.
The Atlanta Pride Parade will begin Sunday at the Civic Center MARTA Station, and will merge off Ralph McGill Boulevard onto Peachtree Street and travel north. It then turns east onto 10th Street and follows 10th Street to the Charles Allen Gate entrance of Piedmont Park, where the parade officially ends.
Assembly begins at 9:30 a.m., so it’s best to get your spot on the route before noon. Wear sunscreen, drink plenty of (non-alcoholic) liquids and enjoy the parade! And don’t forget to check out the several performances happening during the Pride Festival, located at the end of the parade route.
As someone who just saw DJ Tony Moran during Dallas Pride, I must say this is a party you don’t want to miss! For those who don’t know him, Moran is a legendary house music producer who has worked with Cher, Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Deborah Cox and many more.
Featured image via dragempire.com