“We are confident that when allowed by the city, we will be ready to go back into Piedmont Park and create a safe and healthy environment for the 2021 festival,” Jamie Fergerson, executive director of the Pride committee, said in a prepared statement.
The City of Atlanta is key to Pride’s plan. Fergerson said that the event is in line for approval with other annual public events and reiterated that safety concerns remain a priority.
“Of course, if [city approval] does not happen, we will be ready to return to virtual programming,” she said in the statement. “But we know that our community is looking forward to an in-person event.”
“As long as it is safe to do so, this is our plan,” she added.
When Pride’s turn arrives in the city’s queue, it will announce dates and more details. The festival is usually held during the second weekend of October in conjunction with National Coming Out Day. That takes place Oct. 11.
In late March, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms lifted the moratorium on outdoor events with less than 2,000 people. That opened the door for Joining Hearts to host its main event in Piedmont Park on July 17. Bottoms has yet to lift the moratorium on larger Class A events like Atlanta Pride.
Another Class A event, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, announced on Wednesday that its usual April event – sidelined in 2020 – will return to Piedmont Park on Aug. 6–8.
In anticipation of a hiccup-free process, Pride opens vendor and parade reservations on Monday, April 19.
Atlanta Pride went virtual in 2020 with some big-named talent and support. Coronavirus canceled the outdoor event after much handwringing that put off the tough decision for as long as possible. Thousands were still here for it when official celebrations went online-only.
Read Atlanta Pride’s full announcement below.
51st ATLANTA PRIDE CELEBRATION TO BE SOCIALLY DISTANCED
Atlanta Pride Committee Planning In-Person Festival in October-Taking Market & Parade Reservations in advance of Registration
ATLANTA (April 15, 2021) — The Atlanta Pride Committee today announced that they are currently planning to hold an in-person event over the festival dates in October.
“At this time, the City of Atlanta, Office of Special Events, is accepting applications for only Class E Events. We are hopeful this means that our event class, Class A, is in queue and they will begin accepting those applications over the next few months.” said Jamie Fergerson, executive director, Atlanta Pride Committee. “We are planning accordingly and as a result, we will open both the vendor market and parade for RESERVATIONS next week.”
“A market or parade reservation and deposit will hold your place in line and ensure that you can participate once we receive approval. Once that approval for our festival permit is processed and confirmed by the city, we will then reach out to everyone with a reservation to make their final payment so their participation in the 2021 festival is confirmed.”
The Atlanta Pride Committee is working closely with the city along with public health officials to plan a COVID safe festival. Current guidelines include social distancing and mask mandates for everyone on festival grounds; hand washing stations to be placed throughout the park for the duration of the festival; along with the addition of a COVID compliance officer added to the event staff. APC will update health and safety plans as guidance changes to remain in compliance with city ordinances and CDC guidelines.
The goal of APC is to serve its community and come together to celebrate and continue its work along with its sponsors and partners. It is imperative that in 2021, this be done according to CDC guidelines and with public health as its greatest concern.
“The last year has certainly been challenging,” said Fergerson. “However, we are confident that when allowed by the city, we will be ready to go back into Piedmont Park and create a safe and healthy environment for the 2021 festival. Of course, if that does not happen, we will be ready to return to virtual programming – but we know that our community is looking forward to an in-person event. As long as it is safe to do so, this is our plan.”
More detailed information about the festival will be announced as it is available. Market and Parade reservations will be announced via APC newsletter and will be available beginning on April 19.
Visit Atlanta Pride online.