There might not be a bigger and bolder LGBT celebration in the South than the Atlanta Gay Pride celebration, which takes place at leafy (and centrally located) Piedmont Park in early to mid-October - the dates this year are October 8 and 9, 2016. 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).
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.
A big feature ahead of the main weekend is Atlanta's Out on Film LGBT gay film festival, which runs in late September and early October. The festival, now in its 29th year, showcases dozens of great movies - here's a full list of films at this year's event. The dates of Out on Film this year are September 29 through October 6, 2016.
Looking for tips on where to eat and socialize during Pride? Check out the Atlanta Gay Nightlife and Dining Guide.
Other events taking place during the days leading up to Pride weekend include workshops on protecting your relationship through legal documents, and HIV/AIDS vigil, a party at the official Pride host hotel, the W Atlanta Midtown (last year's host), and a Dine Out For Pride event.
Savannah Gay Pride takes place later this month, on October 22, 2016. Check out our preview
The weekend begins on Friday night (Oct. 7) at 7 pm, with an Official Atlanta Pride Kickoff Party, 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 DJs (this year it's Kitty Glitter all the way from Australia, and local favorite DJ Robert Ansley).
Following this and lasting until 3 am, there's the Official Atlanta Pride Kickoff After Party.
The actual Pride Festival takes place throughout the two-day weekend (Oct. 8 and 9, 2016), 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 on Saturday, and 2 pm until 6 pm on Sunday) featuring some 200 vendors and organizations from the greater Atlanta GLBT community. Featured entertainment this year at the Atlanta Gay Pride Festival includes Jason Maek & Zaena, Kiiara, Zara Larsson, Jody Watley, the Michael Jons Band, and many others.
The annual Pride Parade, held on Sunday, October 9, begins at noon (floats and participants begin assembling around 10:30 that morning), departs from the Marta Civic Center Station, and ends at Piedmont Park (Here's a map of last year's parade route).
On Saturday, October 8, other key events include the Atlanta Dyke March at 6 pm and the Atlanta Trans March at 1:45 pm.
Atlanta Gay Resources
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, the popular LGBT entertainment magazine David Atlanta, and the Georgia Voice.
Also take a look at the excellent GLBT site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Atlanta CVB.