Since their first Pride celebration in 2000, our southern sister city has continually built a solid reputation for their Pride Festival. Whether it’s RuPaul performing at The Roundhouse or Pride’s presence on River Street or its latest home in Forsyth Park, Savannah Pride delivers each and every year and 2012 promises to be bigger and better than ever.
“With some of the biggest names in entertainment Savannah Pride has ever seen, [we are] expecting a historic Pride as far as attendance,” Savannah Pride President Chris Brown shares.
Brown credits the community for its outreach and support as the driving force behind Savannah Pride’s success. “Savannah truly is a beautiful city inside and out,” Brown beams.
Some may find that beauty in Savannah’s southern staple Lady and Son’s, others find it in its rich history and scenic squares, and there are the few that find it in the city’s relaxed laws that allow you to roam its streets with a cocktail, but as a previous resident I can attest that Savannah brims with an acceptance that is hard to find in other parts of South Georgia.
This year Savannah Pride is set to honor that acceptance with its first annual ‘Spirit of Pride’ Award, presented to Savannah’s Mayor, Edna Jackson. In a series of firsts, Jackson will be the first sitting Mayor to serve as the official Festival kick-off event/speaker when she delivers the opening remarks at Saturday’s Festival.
Brown points to several milestones in Mayor Jackson’s administration, including her United Savannah initiative and a recent Tolerance Summit, as steps to building a better Savannah.
“We’ve seen the mayor try to start a conversation that’s one of acceptance and understanding,” Brown states. “We are proud to have her share this year’s Pride with us.”
This year’s entertainment features a headlining performance from platinum-recording artist JoJo, best known for 2003’s number one hit “Leave (Get Out)” and latest single “Demonstrate”, but also boasts a wealth of local talent including The Cusses who plan to rock Savannah out during the day as well as a staple performance from the Club One Cabaret.
Savannah Pride will also bring some ATL flavor when Dylan Michael, who is currently filming a video for his new single “Turn the Lights Down”, takes the stage Saturday afternoon and Sexual Side Effects, named one of David Atlanta’s Queer Bands that Rock, bring their infectious sounds to the stage that evening.
But it’s not all about the music. The Festival will boast over 50 different vendors and a family fun area that’ll allow families to come to the park to show their pride too.
Admission to Savannah Pride festivities is a mere $5 before 5pm and $7 after which helps Savannah Pride continue to bring its A-game every year. Proceeds are also donated to local charities including Safe Shelter, a domestic violence shelter in Savannah.
“We have to give something more of ourselves to a community that gives so much to us,” Brown states. A perfect summary that demonstrates the level of commitment that has helped Savannah Pride flourish and describes the pride you’ll feel when you enter Forsyth Park.