Your chance to sway Pride’s next grand marshal

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Atlanta Pride is all over the planning for this year’s festival already, and they need you to help crown the belle or belles of the ball. That’s right. Act now to get your say in Pride’s highest honor, the parade grand marshal selections.

“There are so many deserving LGBTQ people and allies doing amazing things for our community,” says Buck Cooke, executive director of Atlanta Pride, in a written statement.. “So please gather some information and nominate these deserving folks for the biggest honor Atlanta Pride can bestow on our neighbors.”

As gay Atlanta veterans know, that could mean two people, 120 people, or somewhere in between will end up walking the route with the title. Last year’s Mark King (photo, above) shared with seven other grand marshals and three additional honorary grand marshals.

How it ultimately goes down and which queen or queens will reign over the parade in 2014 are at least partially up to you. Pride has the final word, but the volunteer committee chooses from your nominations, so the time is now. Inevitable bitching and whining about the final choices carries less weight if you didn’t participate in the nominations. Here are some key tweaks and reminders to the grand marshal nomination process, which starts now and remains open through May 15.

Self-nominations are accepted

The number of Grand Marshals selected depends on the field of nominations

The Atlanta Pride Committee is solely responsible for the selection of the Grand Marshals

Both individual and organizational nominees must reside in GA in order meet necessary criteria

More information and the nomination forms are online.

News of the open nominations comes after a call for 2014 entertainers, marketplace vendors and parade entrants. It also comes alongside a laundry list of other announcements about Atlanta Pride, set for Oct. 10-12 this year. Some of it is housekeeping, but some of it is new, so listen up.

Also, the Trans March transitions from its traditional route through the park to take to the streets, and a Campus Pride college fair joins the lineup. So there's plenty on Pride’s daily agenda way before you even finalize summer plans, much less start thinking about October. Here’s the full announcement:


ATLANTA PRIDE RELEASES JAM-PACKED ANNOUNCEMENT OF IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2014 ATLANTA PRIDE FESTIVAL

Atlanta, Georgia. – Atlanta Pride released a variety of information today about the upcoming 2014 Atlanta Pride Festival!  There will be much more information to be released later….but there is already a lot to know to make sure that YOU make the most out of your Atlanta Pride Festival weekend this year!

The 44th Annual Atlanta Pride Festival will take place October 11th & 12th in Piedmont Park.  Atlanta’s Pride is the largest Pride event in the southeastern US and the largest celebration held in conjunction with National Coming Out Day in the entire country.  Some highlights about the weekend’s festivities in and around the park are included the list below.

·       Trans March at 1:45 p.m. on October 11
·       Dyke March at 6:00 p.m. on October 11
·       Atlanta Pride Parade at 1:00 p.m. on October 12
·       Two stages of entertainment
·       Over 200 market vendors
·       Programs for families and kids
·       LGBTQ-welcoming college fair held in conjunction with Campus Pride
·       AND MORE!

Atlanta Pride Executive Director, Buck Cooke, commented about the weekend, “While our festival coincides with the weekend closest to National Coming Out Day each year, I am especially excited to celebrate NCOD as a part of the festival. Each person must make their own decision to be out, but this is a celebration for the entire LGBTQ community and our allies to commemorate where we all are on our journey to acceptance, whether from our friends and family or finding acceptance within ourselves.”

Cooke continued,  “One change we are looking forward to is having the Trans March take to the streets for the first time. Our community members asked for this in 2013 and we are thrilled to make it happen this year.”

The weekend’s events begin with the Official Kick-off Party at the Georgia Aquarium from 7-11:30p on Friday, October 10th.  Tickets will go on sale later in the spring.

For attendees who want to be close to the action all weekend, Atlanta Pride is pleased to announce the return of the W Atlanta Midtown as the Host hotel.  The special Atlanta Pride rate is now available by clicking here: https://atlantapride.org/pride/where-to-stay/

Cooke also offered up this teaser, “Our team is already hard at work planning for the festival, so we hope everyone marks their calendars and invites friends and family from all over to come to Atlanta and join in the fun. We are excited to bring back some successful experiments from last year, like the Campus Pride College Fair, and we look forward to offering new ideas for 2014.”

Reflecting on all of the details, Cooke noted, “I truly believe there is something for everyone at our festival. We offer a wide variety of programming, entertainers, market vendors, parade entries, and educational opportunities, so make sure you keep an eye on the festival schedule in the coming months to see what we have planned.”

Finally, Atlanta Pride is excited to conduct the 2014 Grand Marshal open nomination session from April 22-May 15.  Some housekeeping items around this element include:

·       Self-nominations are accepted
·       The number of Grand Marshal’s selected depends on the field of nominations
·       The Atlanta Pride Committee is solely responsible for the selection of the Grand Marshals
·       Both individual and organizational nominees must reside in GA in order meet necessary criteria

If you would like to nominate someone as Grand Marshal of the 2014 Atlanta Pride Parade, please go to:https://atlantapride.org/forms/

Cooke offered this thought about Grand Marshal Nominees, “I hope many people in our community will take time in the next few weeks to think about the people and organizations who are doing great work for our LGBTQ community in Atlanta and across the state and complete the Grand Marshal nomination form. There are so many deserving LGBTQ people and allies doing amazing things for our community, so please gather some information and nominate these deserving folks for the biggest honor Atlanta Pride can bestow on our neighbors.”

Cooke persisted, “We would like a diverse field of applicants again this year, so think about the activists, advocates, organization leaders, key volunteers, and others who work for LGBTQ equality and are doing things to push LGBTQ issues forward in our city and state.” –

About Atlanta Pride: The main purpose of the APC is to promote unity, visibility and self-esteem among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender and queer persons and to promote a positive image in the Atlanta area and throughout the Southeastern United States through community activities and services.

The main mission of the APC is to provide lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender and queer persons with cultural and educational programs and activities which enhance mental and physical health, provide social support, and foster an awareness of the past and present contributions of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender and queer persons, through community activities and services, including an annual Pride event.

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