Hairy hunks hit Heretic, Jungle, Woofs, Xion, and BJs for annual hirsute pursuit during Atlanta Bear Pride
By Mike Fleming
You know the fairy tale. Fuzzy Wuzzy was an Atlanta Bear Pride. Or something like that. Well, it gets way better than that teaser, and we have the scoop.
The event is organized and cofounded by Heretic’s Alan Collins and Matt Mikesell of the popular Bearracuda party series. Together, they also helm the annual Bearracuda-Heretic Cruise (bearsoverboard.com), which sets sail again in February 2018.
“I can’t wait for this weekend’s Bear Pride,” says Mikesell. “It gets bigger and better every year, and we’re expecting a whole a lot of sexy men from all over the South. Missing it would definitely be missing out.”
The fun starts on Friday, with the Atlanta Bear Pride Warm Up Party. Food and drink specials are on tap to set off your weekend right at Woofs. Next up, dance beats serenade the Bearracuda Kickoff Party that night at Heretic. LA wunderkind Ryan Jones helms the event, with an opening set by local favorite DJ Stan Jackson.
But Friday, and the whole weekend, are just getting started. When Heretic closes, head over to Xion for After Hours with DJ Scott Anthony. It lasts until the sun rises on what will be an even busier Saturday at Bear Pride.
Saturday kicks off with the Ready 4 Hope Bear BQ and the sounds of DJ Mike Pope. Last year’s event raised nearly $13,000 for Atlanta AIDS Walk. For his part, Collins of the Heretic says the giving spirit of the event makes it one of his favorites of the whole weekend. It features daytime food and fun, as well as the hottest guys from all over.
“It’s such an honor for this epic annual fundraiser to be part of ABP Weekend,” Collins says. “We’re so proud to do whatever we can to help Mike Woodside and his incredible group of volunteers break their fundraising goals year after year.”
Saturday continues with the Bear Invasion Party at Jungle, starring DJ Chris Stutz all the way from Tokyo, Japan. Once again, After Hours at Xion takes you from night to morning light, this time with DJ Deanne.
No, girl. It’s not over. Get a disco nap, because Sunday is just as epic. The afternoon includes Bear Pride Sunday Fun Day at Woofs with more food and drink specials, then it’s over to BJ Roosters for the Closing Party: Underwear Edition and more male dancers than you can shake a stick at. Or…will they be shaking a stick at you? That party features a clothes check and once again beats by DJ Stan Jackson.
Need more? Of course you do. Good thing that’s how Atlanta Bear Pride rolls. The Mainfest4U men’s club is open all weekend with discounts for ABP Participants.
“Matt and I are so excited for this years event,” Collins says. “Every year it grows even bigger, bringing thousands of bears and bear lovers to our great city. We are so grateful for the support from the Bear Community.”
Still not convinced? Fine. Play hard to get. Here’s Collins best pitch:
“If you’re looking for an amazing weekend filled with incredible events all packed with friendly people from different parts of the community, all looking to set aside the normal BS and have a good time, then ABP is the place for you,” he says. “This is how we do it in the ATL. Be Careful. It’s contagious.”
Atlanta Bear Pride 2017 Schedule
Friday, April 21
ABP Warm Up Party
7 – 9 p.m.
Bearracuda Kickoff Party
DJ Ryan Jones LA, with Stan Jackson opening
Heretic, 9 p.m. – 3 a.m.
Friday After Hours
DJ Scott Anthony
3 a.m. – 7 a.m.
Saturday, April 22
Ready 4 Hope’s Bear BQ
DJ Mike Pope
1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
DJ Chris Stutz – Tokyo, Japan
10:30 p.m. – 3 a.m.
3 a.m. – 7 a.m.
Sunday, April 23
ABP Sunday Funday
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
ABP Closing Party Underwear Edition
Clothes check available, DJ Stan Jackson
7 p.m. – 12 midnight
All-weekend discounts to ABP Participants