Pride toasts patrons, volunteers with reception

Add this share


MORE | View our full coverage of Atlanta Pride

A few hundred people toasted the start of the Atlanta Pride Festival on Friday during a VIP reception in Midtown that featured inspiring words from U.S. Rep. John Lewis (top photo).

Lewis, adorned in scrubs to dress as a doctor for Halloween, urged party-goers to enjoy the weekend but remember that the festival wouldn’t take place without financial support. He presented organizers with a $1,000 check.

image“I wish for each and every one an unbelievably happy and delightful weekend this weekend,” Lewis told the crowd. “Last year, I walked, tried to ride a little. It thundered and [had] lightning. I‘m not one of these individuals who likes to see lightning flash and thunder roll. I got out of that car and ran from side to side and I got wet. I got so wet that I had to take my shirt off and put on another shirt. But it was a great day and we are going to have a great weekend this weekend.”

The event at the soon-to-be opened Hudson Grille Midtown served to thank the volunteers, sponsors and patrons that support the Pride festival and provide some of the $500,000 cost of staging the weekend event.

“It’s been a very long 18 months since we’ve had a Pride event,” said J. Sheffield (photo center), Pride’s event manager. “It’s been a very, very tough year but a very rewarding year.”

Sheffield also thanked several vendors for their support of the festival and credited them with reducing the costs of tents, power and clean-up crews that help organizers stage the event.

“These are not gay-owned and operated businesses. These are just businesses that care about what we do and want to see our event take place,” Sheffield said.

imageLewis, an icon of the Civil Rights era and a staunch supporter of LGBT issues, closed the reception with his trademark call to action.

“We all are in this boat together. It doesn’t matter whether you are straight or gay. It doesn’t matter whether we are black or white, or Latino or Asian American or Native American. We are one people. We are one family. We are one house. We all live in the same house. We all must stand and stick together,” Lewis said.

View the Project Q Atlanta photo album from the VIP reception.


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...