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|2012 Atlanta Pride fest returns to Piedmont Park in October as part of National Coming Out Day|
|Written by Dyana Bagby|
|Friday, 02 March 2012 12:03|
Atlanta Pride again comes out to Piedmont Park this year Oct. 13-14, making it the largest event to coincide with National Coming Out Day — and hoping to top record crowds from 2011.
"The Atlanta Pride Festival is currently the largest event in the United State to coincide with National Coming Out Day, which is observed on Oct. 11. Other [local] established community events that take place around the same timeframe include The Health Initiative’s Garden Party, Out on Film and the Atlanta AIDS Walk," says a press release from the Atlanta Pride Committee.
Despite protests from PETA's leadership last year about holding Atlanta Pride's official kick-off party at the Georgia Aquarium, the party will not be moving venues, say Pride organizers. In 2011, Dan Matthews, senior vice president of PETA, wrote in a Huffington Post blog that he believed the loud music and large crowds at the aquarium tortured the animals. Georgia Aquarium officials insisted no harm came to the animals.
Events are also being planned for June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots and applications are now being accepted for parade participants and market vendors. Visit www.atlantapride.org for more information.
“We are excited to announce the 2012 festival dates to allow the entire community ample planning time for this wonderful event here in Atlanta,” said APC Board Chair Glen Paul Freedman. “Piedmont Park is such a beautiful setting, the Atlanta Pride Committee is thrilled to continue our relationship with this convenient and appealing locale.”
Last year's record crowds had organizers saying it was the best celebration in its 42 year history, including having the largest parade in more than two decades. This year also marks the first year in many where James Parker Sheffield is not at the helm as executive director. Sheffield recently took a job with the Health Initiative and the Atlant Pride Committee board named longtime volunteer to fill in on an interim basis.
Check out photos from last year's Pride parade here.
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