Augusta Pride festival ready for third year

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Now in its third year, the Augusta Pride festival has evolved from an event many said couldn’t succeed to a regional favorite that garners increasing participation with each passing year.

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The 2011 Augusta Pride parade makes its way down Broad Street in Augusta.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
The 2011 Augusta Pride parade makes its way down Broad Street in Augusta.

Dedicating to celebrating and bringing attention to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and interests, the festival features a variety of events that attract patrons from both within and outside the Augusta area.

Alan Braden is on the event’s board of directors and has been involved with organizing since the beginning. He admitted that Augusta Pride initially attracted a lot of naysayers.

“There were a lot of people that told us that this just couldn’t be done,” he said. “And they said it certainly couldn’t be done in Augusta. This has proved that just wasn’t the case.”

Still, Braden admitted being nervous during the first Augusta Pride festival. He said tales of a failed parade some 10 years earlier had raised some doubts. He said the moment he turned a corner and found hundreds assembled to participate in the parade was when he realized the event could and would succeed in Augusta.

“They were vibrating they were so excited,” he said. “That’s when we knew it would be fine.”

The pleasure with Pride, Braden said, is that there are always moments like that. He said that while festivities are carefully planned, the event itself often dictates what happens and when.

“It’s like a surprise party you throw for yourself,” he said with a laugh. “You never know what is going to happen.”


For more information, see

AUGUSTA PRIDE PRESIDENT’S SOIREE (VIP ONLY): 7-10 p.m. Thursday, June 21, Marion Hatcher House, 519 Greene St.; VIP badge required

CABARET: featuring Coti Collins, Nicole Roberts and Denise Russell; 9 p.m. Friday, June 22, Club Argos, 1923 Walton Way

KICK-OFF PARTY: featuring She N She, 9 p.m. Friday, June 22, The Filling Station, 1258 Gordon Hwy.

PARADE: 10-11 a.m. Saturday, June 23; parade turns onto Broad Street from 10th Street and proceeds to Sixth Street. The procession then turns down Sixth and turns onto Reynolds, ending in front of Augusta Common.

FESTIVAL: featuring performances by Tom Goss, Dee Hemingway, She N She and Josh Zuckerman, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 23, Augusta Common

ROADHOUSE: featuring Dee Hemingway, Tom Goss and Josh Zuckerman, 9 p.m. Saturday, June 23, The Filling Station, 1258 Gordon Hwy.

WRAP-UP POOL PARTY: featuring CSRA Leather Bears, 10 a.m. Sunday, June 24, Parliament Resort, 1250 Gordon Hwy.

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OJP 06/19/12 - 05:58 pm

Thanks to everyone involved and to Augusta for welcoming its LGBT family members and friends!

Saprise 06/21/12 - 10:03 am
Augusta Pride Festival

I was raised most of my childhood in North Augusta/Augusta and have family that still lives there. I graduated From NASH. In the late 70's most homosexuals were extremely closeted and faced harassment or worse if they were outed. The gay community in Augusta has come a long way in the 35 years since then. While some in the community might want us to go all the way back to where we were then (or even fence us in and wait for us to die out as has been suggested by a preacher in NC,) We prefer to be out in the open with other members of the community. I don't live in Augusta anymore but my spouse ( Thank you Massachusetts) and I will be attending the Pride Festival. The people of Augusta are in my heart and soul. I was raised in that community and I am gay. I was too afraid all those many years ago to be true to myself and those that loved me. I believe, in spite of some of the comments I've seen here that Augusta has become a more tolerant city. I always new the people of the CSRA were good hearted, kind, and tolerant. I now believe that their tolerance has now expanded to be more inclusive of GLBT people. Augusta: your GLBT citizens are still southerners, they still believe in kindness, courtesy, and respect. But they are coming out of the closets they've been forced to hide in and they will not go back in. You should embrace them. They are your sons, daughters, friends, and family. They can and do add to the richness of culture and heritage that makes Augusta a proud city of both the Old and New South. I live in Savannah now and while we have had a Pride Festival for over a decade I believe that those who are behind the Augusta Pride celebration could teach us a lesson about hard work, community cohesiveness, and the joy of creating an event that all citizens can take Pride in. See you at the parade and festival Saturday.

Fiat_Lux 06/22/12 - 11:22 am
Uh, no embracing

Yeah, please do keep it in the closet, just like everybody else does. Nobody wants to know all this about you. Nobody cares except your family.

But people still will be polite and friendly, even though you're in their face with something distasteful to them, because, well, this is the South after all.

kiwiinamerica 06/22/12 - 11:53 am
No sale

I will never accept sodomy as something of which to be proud. Sorry. Am I still allowed to say that or is it now an arrestable offense? Am I guilty of hate speech?

Just checking.

"Pride" is really not about the homosexual/lesbian community. It's about us, the normal community. It's about acceptance. It's not enough for homosexuals to live their own lifestyle. No, we must approve of that lifestyle. I don't understand why my approval is necessary but since you're asking, no I don't approve. I think it's immoral, gross, unhealthy and also biologically unnatural when viewed from a purely evolutionary perspective. There's a strong selective pressure against sterile couplings right throughout the natural world.

Before anyone starts, I'm not advocating any punitive measures. All I ask is that you get out of my face and leave me alone. I don't want to know what happens in your bedroom. We're always told that my morality has no place in your bedroom. Great......then don't make an issue of it and keep it to yourself.

Riverman1 06/22/12 - 11:58 am

"WRAP-UP POOL PARTY: featuring CSRA Leather Bears, 10 a.m. Sunday, June 24, Parliament Resort, 1250 Gordon Hwy."

Just one big splash in to end it huh?

12barblues 06/22/12 - 05:37 pm

Welcome to all who are in town for Augusta Pride!! We support you!

howcanweknow 06/23/12 - 07:24 am
To each his own. If even the

To each his own. If even the KKK and Neo-Nazis have a constitutional right to public assembly, then so do these folks. That's America. Just avoid downtown area if you disagree.

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