The Cobb County that I grew up in is staunchly traditional and very religious. What has the community support for the festival been like?
The first year it was somewhat negative. Last year, it really wasn’t that bad. To be perfectly honest with you, we do our own thing and don’t worry about what they think, because we don’t get any sponsorship from any local or federal agency. It’s completely self-supporting, and we donate all of the profits to a local charity, and this year’s charity is the new foundation, Lost-n-Found.
Lost-n-Found is an organization that takes LGBQT youth off the streets. They have a 24-hour hotline and they accept ages 18 to 24. Lost-n-Found opened their doors in November of last year with great community support. Currently, the organization has a six-bedroom house in Atlanta, with counselors on duty. They’re taking in LGBT teens that have been kicked out of their homes, helping them get basic necessities like an identification card, a birth certificate, and offering a shelter where they don’t have to worry about what their orientation is.
Lost-n-Found is a grassroots organization; they’re little guys like the Marietta Rainbow Festival. This years goal? To raise enough money to keep Lost-n-Found’s rent paid for several more months… hopefully to the tune of $5,000.
So why should people drive OTP to celebrate Marietta’s Rainbow Festival? For starters, it is completely different from other Pride festivals. Folks that have children can come out and enjoy face-painting, family activities, and even chill out in the “video game building”. The entertainers will also be performing children’s numbers during the day.
Some of the other highlights? The event will boast a miniature, outdoor flea market where people can rent tables to sell goods like jewelry and artwork. Also four different organizations will be on hand doing preventative testing for HIV and other easily detectable STD’s.
The festival will have that aspect of a small-town feel. A place where people from Atlanta or the Blue Ridge Mountains came come and rejoice and be proud of who they are. The event is still growing in size each year, and they hope this year to be able to raise some serious money, while giving the community something fun to do.
For more information on this weekend’s events and performances, visit rainbowgeorgia.org