The Atlanta Pride Festival shifts to Central Park next year, taking advantage of indoor space from the Atlanta Civic Center and the outdoor venues that festival-goers seems to enjoy so much.

The decision came this morning as Pride officials huddled with organizers of other large-scale festivals that were all booted from Piedmont Park this year over the city’s drought-related restrictions.

Pride’s move to a hybird solution of the civic center and Central Park was hinted at in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday and confirmed later in the morning by Southern Voice.

What’s left undecided is when the festival will be held in 2009. The event was shifted from its traditional late June date this year to make room for the move to the civic center. The pride board is expected to debate the issue during a meeting on Saturday. An informal poll on the festival’s web site shows that participants favor a return to the event’s June dates. The second most popular option participants indicated was a September or October date.

Southern Voice broke details of the agreement between the festivals on Friday:

During a meeting at City Hall this morning, city officials and organizers of Atlanta’s five largest festivals agreed to a plan that puts Atlanta Pride in Central Park, near the Atlanta Civic Center, where the festival was held this year.

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival gets coveted Piedmont Park, and the Atlanta Jazz Festival heads to Grant Park.  Locations for the two remaining Class A events, Screen on the Green and the Peachtree Roadrace, were not finalized at the meeting.

Atlanta Pride Board Chair Deidre Heffernan said she is very happy with the decision.

“If we did not have a park next year, we would be out of business,” Heffernan said after Friday morning’s meeting.