How Atlanta does PRIDE
get out more often, you never know what you will stumble upon
By Diana Odero, Chapman University
So I took a nice walk down from my apartment to Piedmont Park on Saturday afternoon just to get out and enjoy the October sunshine, yes people… It’s still very warm here in Atlanta even during Fall. I had planned to get some reading done but I should have probably checked the Atlanta Calendar of events before heading out because I was definitely not prepared for what I walked into after seeing the huge rainbow flag at the park gate.
Atlanta Pride Day. What are the odds that I would just stumble upon this colorful festival this weekend? Clearly higher than none! Now I have never ever attended a pride day event. Nothing against them I’ve just never had the motivation to experience one before. After today, that decision has considerably changed. As soon as I walked in I was bathed in marde gras beads, handed several pamphlets, pens, candy and stickers and given a whole tour of Piedmont park in a new way by the various stands I passed as I made my way through the park.
Atlanta folk, being southern are extremely friendly and even though I told them I am not part of the LGBTQ community, they didn’t shun me out, they simply expressed their love for the allies and insisted on donations to keep the community alive. Various vendors had stalls set up selling all kinds of LGBTQ merchandise aka all fun kinds of rainbow inspired accessories. Most big company sponsors also had stalls in the park, Coca Cola had a cool photo booth dubbed #CocaColaMotivation to signify keeping people motivated for the fight for equality everywhere. Some stalls had games going on, some inspired by the wheel of fortune and the NBA dunk contest. What I loved the most though… the dress code! I said it before and I’ll say it again, I really admire the confidence that most people in the LGBTQ community exude. I saw the most bizarre outfits and the most creative as well. And as to why there are not any pictures of those outfits, well lets just say this is a family friendly site and we don’t want to scar anyone.
Amongst all the pomp and color was the highlight of the festival i.e. the performances scheduled for the evening part of Pride Day. They had various bands and artists set to perform on the Coca Cola stage all through the weekend. A mix of country, rock and pop music played throughout the day and all in all, this was a Pride day to note down in my book of firsts. I heard the pep rally that started it off was quite a spectacle as they shut down a good chunk of Atlanta’s main street, Peachtree road. Hope I catch it from the beginning next year! Just another day in this life of mine, that would have been the usual, sit at home and read in bed type of day if I didn’t decide to take that walk. Reasons why you should all get out more, wherever you are. You never know what you may stumble upon!