Festival is celebration of 5 years of Augusta Pride

JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/FILE
The Augusta Pride parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday with participants marching from Jones Street; south on 11th Street to Broad Street; east on Broad Street to Sixth Street; then north on Broad Street to the festival grounds at Augusta Common.
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Celebrating its fifth anniversary, Augusta Pride will feature two days of events with some returning favorites in downtown Augusta this weekend.

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Pop diva Taylor Dayne will perform at 1:15 p.m. Saturday during the Pride Festival.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Pop diva Taylor Dayne will perform at 1:15 p.m. Saturday during the Pride Festival.

The weekend kicks off Friday, June 27, with Beats on Broad, August’s largest outdoor dance party, according to Lonzo Smith, vice president of Augusta Pride.

“This is our second year of doing it,” he said. “It was successful last year.”

A $5 admission provides access to five hours of entertainment and dancing at Augusta Common. Gates will open at 6 p.m. for Beats on Broad, which will feature a mix of music. DJ Kaos will open the set. Performing later in the evening will be Latrice Royale and Chad Michaels, who were featured in 2011’s season 4 of the television reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Smith said this is Royale’s debut in Augusta, but Michaels was a crowd favorite at last year’s events.

Michaels, who finished in the top three in RuPaul’s Drag Race and was crowned the winner when invited back for an all-star round, is best-known for impersonations of the singer Cher and has also performed as Christina Aguilera and Cyndi Lauper.

“Michaels is known to be one of the most successful queens in today’s drag industry,” according to Smith.

Royale finished in the top five of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Beats on Broad will end around midnight.

Augusta Pride continues on Saturday, June 28, with the parade at 10 a.m. down Broad Street. The festivities will take place at Augusta Common until 6.

Smith said events are free and open to all ages.

“We are going to have lots of vendors,” he said.

Performances are scheduled throughout the day Saturday. Michaels is scheduled to perform at noon and 1:55 p.m. Saturday with Royale taking the stage at 12:10 and 2:30. At 1:15 p.m., ’80s and ’90s pop diva Taylor Dayne will perform.

Others taking the stage include the bands, Synergy and False Flag. And a DJ will provide music during the day.

Depending on the weather, Augusta Pride draws between 7,000 and 10,000 people. Many of the patrons come from out of town, and it provides the biggest economic impact for the city during the month of June, Smith said. And it will go on rain or shine. Many of the vendors will be under tents.

While the event is heavy on the entertainment side, there is a serious purpose as well with some speakers and booths dedicated to education and advocacy for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Smith said the theme of this year’s Augusta Pride is Everyone Loves.

“It’s part of everyone to want to give love and feel loved,” he said.

For more information, visit prideaugusta.org.

PRIDE FESTIVAL ENTERTAINMENT

FRIDAY, JUNE 27

At 6 p.m., The Augusta Pride Festival opens with the Beats on Broad outdoor dance party at Augusta Common. Admission is $5.

7 p.m.: DJ KAOS

9 p.m.: Miss Augusta Pride, Vonnajae Couture

9:30 p.m.: Evonne Santoni

10:15 p.m.: Latrice Royale

11:15 p.m.: Chad Michaels

11:59 p.m.: Park closes

SATURDAY, JUNE 28

10 a.m.: Augusta Pride Parade, Broad Street

11 a.m.: Opening with Augusta Pride President Takya, Barclay Bishop, Jay Jeffries, Nicole Roberts

11:25 a.m.: S.C. Equality Ryan Wilson

11:30 a.m.: Allison Foster

Noon: Chad Michaels

12:05 p.m.: HRC Joey Triana

12:10 p.m.: Latrice Royale

12:15 p.m.: Synergy

12:35 p.m.: DJ set, VIP meet and greet with Chad Michaels

12:55 p.m.: Georgia Equality Jeff Graham

1 p.m.: Mr. Augusta Pride Orlando Boom, Miss Augusta Pride Vonnajae Couture

1:15 p.m.: Taylor Dayne

1:50 p.m.: S.C. Pride Jeff March

1:55 p.m.: Chad Michaels

2 p.m.: DJ set, VIP meet and greet with Taylor Dayne

2:30 p.m.: Latrice Royale

2:35 p.m.: Atlanta Pride

2:40 p.m.: DJ set, VIP meet and greet with Latrice Royale

3:10 p.m.: Nicole Roberts

3:15 p.m.: False Flag

4-6 p.m.: Local talent

Comments (3) Add comment
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OJP
6634
Points
OJP 06/25/14 - 07:16 pm
1
2
This event's popularity says great things about Augusta!

Congratulations to the local LGBT community and many thanks to Augusta Pride!

dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 06/26/14 - 04:35 am
2
1
Gay parade
Unpublished

It should be named after deke the geek mayor of augusta. Downtown augusta supports this kind of UNGODLY action for the business it generates. Christians should boycott downtown businesses the rest of the year. If the businesses can survive on 1 weekend a month so be it.

OJP
6634
Points
OJP 06/26/14 - 07:44 am
1
2
@dickworth1

You won't find too many people who agree with you. Such a hate-fueled tactic may have worked in the past, but compassion, understanding, and love have won on this issue. LGBT Americans deserve respect and equality just like everyone else.

GeorgiaCarolina
168
Points
GeorgiaCarolina 06/26/14 - 08:01 pm
2
2
@dickworth1

Thanks for reminding me why I don't do the church thing any longer. Your post just reeks of Christian love.

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