No city in the southern United States throws a more potent Gay Pride celebration than Atlanta, which has for many years took place in late June. Atlanta Gay Pride takews place at leafy (and centrally located) Piedmont Park in early to mid-October. This is an important time for Atlanta's GLBT community, as National Coming Out Day is observed in October, and the Atlanta AIDS Walk takes place later the same month, on October 20). The dates of this year's Atlanta Gay Pride are October 12 and 13, 2013.Check out our video on attending Atlanta Gay Pride
Atlanta's Pride celebration centers around a handful of events over this three-day autumn weekend as well as some activities and gatherings taking place the weeks prior.
The fun kicks off on Friday, October 11, with an Official Atlanta Pride Kickoff Party, held from 7 pm until 11:30 pm at the fantastic Georgia Aquarium (this party tends to sell out early, so it's advisable to purchase tickets ASAP). The party includes dancing to tunes from acclaimed local DJs.
The actual Pride Festival takes place throughout the two-day weekend, October 12 and 13, and includes plenty of top-notch entertainment on the stages at the festival grounds in Piedmont Park, as well as a Pride Marketplace (held from 10 am until 7 pm each day) featuring some 200 vendors and organizations from the greater Atlanta GLBT community. Another fixture throughout the weekend is a Pride Human Rights Cultural Exhibit, which is installed on the bridge over the lake in Piedmont Park. Featured entertainment this year at the Atlanta Gay Pride Festival include Taylor Dayne, Bonnie McKee, Sonia Leigh, Aiden Leslie, Kick the Robot, Monica Mason, Neil Cribbs, Starlight Cabaret, Debby Holiday, A Great Big World, Symphony Crack Orchestra, and more.
There's also a Pride Parade held on Sunday, October 13, beginning at 1 pm (floats and participants will begin assembling around 10:30 that morning) and departing from the Marta Civic Center Station - the parade ends at Piedmont Park (Here's a map of the parade route). And on Saturday, October 12, the Atlanta Dyke March commences at 6 pm from Charles Allen Gate (in Piedmont Park at 10th St. NE and Monroe Dr. NE), and also on Saturday, the Atlanta Trans March leaves from the Visitor's Center at 1:45.
Atlanta's many gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Take a look at local media and websites, such as Project Q Atlanta, which has great specific coverage on Atlanta Gay Pride, and the Georgia Voice. Also take a look at the excellent GLBT site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Atlanta CVB.