Marietta Rainbow Fest to bring Pride back OTP

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Organizers are eagerly prepping to outdo last year’s inaugural Pride fest in Marietta. With an extra day and a vastly expanded space to do it in, all signs point to “yes” for getting your Pride on outside the perimeter this weekend.

imageThe event, organized by the North Georgia Rainbow Coalition, is the brainchild of LeBuzz President Johnathan Murphy. For 2011, the Cobb County gay bar owner and an active board of his cohorts expand on last year’s shows, parties, games and vendors for an underappreciated but “strong” LGBT population in their neck of the woods.

“There has always been a very strong demographic audience that we serve from lots of small towns and surrounding areas,” Murphy tells Project Q Atlanta. “This is for them.”

And it’s for everybody else, too. You thought last year’s estimated 2,500 partiers, 60 performers and all-day fandango inside and outside LeBuzz (photos, view more) was big? Well then just get ready to be blown away.

imageStarting at 5 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and going deep into the night, a newly renovated LeBuzz expansion and a beefed-up lineup have the Marietta Rainbow Festival folks hopeful to surpass 2010 by a rainbow mile.

“We are excited and it is bigger. We have the original space that we used last year, which is 14,000 square feet, plus Enigma for our Family Fun Zone, which is another 6,000 square feet, then we have the old LeBUZZ for a staging area which is about 6,000 square feet more.

“Attendees will be able to shop, listen to DJs from around the city, see even more entertainers perform, and have fun with the kids in another dedicated space as well.”

By day, look for live bands, DJs, drag shows featuring queens and kings, guest speakers, celebrity surprises and an expanded marketplace. The family area will include activities like Duck Derby and PLINKO with cotton candy and Sno Cones. And for those over 18, things really heat up by night: The Divas Cabaret on the LeBuzz main stage features emcee Destiny Brooks and a never-ending list of performers. A dance party continues the celebration after the show and goes until 3 a.m. both nights.

imageIn addition to all that Pride revelry, Project Live Love has been selected as the 2011 beneficiary of the event. The non-profit organization aims to influence culture by engaging, networking and mobilizing people who are “motivated by love.” The Rainbow Coalition has pledge 40 percent of Marietta Rainbow Festival proceeds to the cause.

Come on, what else do you need to hear? Expansive space, hundreds of revelers, more performers than you can count, and all in the name of love. If those aren’t enough reasons to head OTP, how about this:

“This is a free event and everyone is welcome,” says Murphy, who called last year’s inaugural festival “the best day of my life.”

Photos for Project Q Atlanta by Sher Pruitt

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