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|Atlanta City Council extends bar hours for Atlanta Pride|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|September 05, 2012 16:46|
The Atlanta City Council voted this week to extend the bar hours from Sunday, Oct. 14 at midnight to Monday, Oct. 15 at 2:30 a.m. The measure was led by City Councilmembers Alex Wan and Carla Smith.
Wan, who is gay, says the measure is designed to give Pride attendees a few additional hours to enjoy the city's nightlife.
“We can remove [city ordinance] code every now and again for various reasons,” Wan told GA Voice. “It's far easier to get a waiver for a specific event than a permanent change.”
Wan said the City Council typically extends bar hours during major events or holidays, like Labor Day Weekend and Memorial Day.
The City Council also recently passed an anti-smoking ordinance that officially bans smoking in the city's parks. Wan was the sponsor of that ordinance, as well.
“It's not completely the case that you can't smoke at Pride,” Wan said. “Parties, inside the bars and along the parade route, you can still smoke there. It's just once you get in the physical boundaries of the park that the ban takes place.”
Glen Paul Freedman, board chair of the Atlanta Pride Committee, said this afternoon that the board and organizers behind Atlanta Pride asked the City Council for the bar hours extension.
“The Atlanta Pride Committee has requested that the Atlanta City Council members approve an ordinance to modified bar hours during the Atlanta Pride Festival weekend each year for the past several years. We are very pleased that this ordinance has always been approved by the Atlanta City Council members and for their continued support of the Atlanta Pride Festival,” Freedman told GA Voice.
Freedman also reminded party-goers to stay safe and to drink responsibly during the festival.
“We believe having the approved modified bar hours on Sunday night into Monday morning will allow those folks who would like to continue their post-Pride enjoyment in a bar/club setting that option and allow them to do so past the normal 12:01 a.m. Sunday closing time. Of course, we always encourage everyone to drink responsibly throughout the weekend,” Freeman added.
The Atlanta Pride Festival will be held Oct. 13-14 in Atlanta's Piedmont Park. For more information on the festival, including associated events and entertainment lineups, please click here. http://atlantapride.org/
Top photo: Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan (file)
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