Raining on Atlanta’s Parade

Atlanta pride

If ever there were a more appropriate time to use this tired cliche, it’s today — while reporting on the unfortunate thunderstorms that brought Atlanta’s Gay Pride Parade to an early end. Officials called off the event midway through the afternoon when the weather turned for the worse, marking the second time in three years the parade got axed before the grand finale of Starlight Cabaret, a giant drag show. (Waterproof mascara only goes so far.) But Sunday’s main event wasn’t the only rained out celebration.

This year’s festival was plagued by storms on all three days. The most serious event occurred on Friday, when strong winds caused Pride’s main stage to collapse shortly after the opening ceremonies. Pride officials cancelled the evening’s performers and all other activities in Piedmont Park, with the exception of the Pride Prom, an event for gay youth held in Magnolia Hall, a building within the park.

The Pride marketplace and the event’s second stage opened as scheduled on Saturday morning. A smaller stage erected to replace the main stage resumed performances late Saturday afternoon.

But Saturday night’s entertainment was cut short due to thunderstorms before the final act, which was scheduled to be lesbian songwriter Melissa Ferrick.

Sunday’s parade stepped off from the Civic Center MARTA stage under darkening skies just after 1 p.m. The storm clouds burst around 2:20 p.m., and parade participants and spectators were periodically drenched throughout the two-hour procession by heavy rains.

The crowd responded to each crash of thunder with loud applause. The thunderstorms were almost perfectly synchronized with the parade passing by the most crowded part of the route near 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue.

Gay Pride events canceled after parade [Southern Voice]