Each year on Pride Friday, local LGBTs don their gay apparel and make Georgia Aquarium the biggest gay bar in town for a few hours. And so began the fish tale of Atlanta Pride on Friday.

Some 4,000 people were all hugs and smooches as they descended on the sold-out event to mark the traditional start of Pride. The aquarium walls served as backdrops for the crowd as they mingled and moved to DJ Edil Hernandez in the common room, as well as Atlanta’s own Diablo Rojo on the turntables in the Oceans Ballroom.

The ballroom also served as Pride’s VIP pre-party. Sponsors, parade grand marshals and guests got a pre-party of catered food and two dedicated bars of their very own before opening the doors to the rest of the event. The VIP party also hosted singer Sylvia Tosun.

Photos by Russ Youngblood