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The Atlanta Pride Committee (APC) is excited to report that our October return to Piedmont Park for the 2009 Atlanta Pride Festival was a resounding success. The great attendance demonstrated that the LGBT community in Atlanta and across the southeast were glad to have Pride back in our traditional home.
APC is planning the 2010 festival to take place October 9 and 10 in Piedmont Park, pending the permitting process. This decision was based on numerous factors including finances, feedback from attendees and vendors, the welfare of the park and the ability to have adequate time to plan and execute a successful event. “The 2010 festival marks the 40th anniversary for APC and we are grateful to the Parks Department and the City Officials that worked to make sure we will stay in Piedmont Park,” said APC Events Manager JP Sheffield.
Through the intensive fundraising, partnership and cost containment efforts of Sheffield and the Pride Board, APC will begin the 2010 fiscal year in a better financial position than the 2009 year began. “This is excellent news for APC and the Atlanta LGBTQ community,” said Board Chair Deirdre Heffernan. “Last year was a difficult year. But again, our community shows its resilience. Even with all the challenges that we faced, our community came together and made a success of our October event.”
These earlier October dates will enable the 2010 Pride event to build on and highlight National Coming Out Day (NCOD), which is observed on October 11th in the United States. APC intends on promoting the the Atlanta Pride Festival in markets across the country in hopes of becoming one of the largest events in the nation occurring on NCOD.
APC can also confirm a continuation of the partnership with the Georgia Aquarium. The Official Kickoff Party will take place Friday, October 8th at the Aquarium. “With the first Official Pride Kickoff event under our belt, we look forward to making next year’s event bigger and better with lots of new surprises to be announced over the coming months,” said Will Ramsey, the Georgia Aquarium’s Vice President, Sales.
Additionally, just as they did for 2009, APC will be organizing events and activities throughout 2010 to build enthusiasm for Pride 2010, including special events during the month of June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The 2009 Stonewall Week calendar consisted of approximately two dozen community based events, ranging from bar events and pool parties to political gatherings and a preview of the Human Rights Exhibit. APC is committed to putting together a strong line-up of activities and events in June that will celebrate and honor our community’s rich history, while also building excitement for the October festival.
*Due to complications from the drought of 2007, Pride 2008 and other class A events were required by the City of Atlanta to find alternative venues in which to hold their events. The switch of venue and date in 2008 resulted in lower than anticipated attendance and revenue, which left APC in serious financial straits. Fueled by the combination of the dire financial situation and overwhelming community feedback that Pride should return to green space, APC worked to find a solution for returning to the park. With the assistance of City Officials and the Parks Department, Atlanta Pride took place in Piedmont Park October 31-November 1st.