The city of Birmingham is preparing for the annual Central Alabama Pride Celebration, held each year in early June. This year’s festivities are being dubbed the “Eight Days of Pride.” After starting this past Sunday, June 3rd, the week is wrapping up with a number of events.
Wednesday’s main event is a fundraiser for PFLAG at The Edge Theater, beginning at 6:45 PM. The fundraiser also serves as a film screening for Love Free or Die, which chronicles the life and work of Bishop Gene Robinson. As the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, Robinson’s story touches on the issues that exist between the LGBT and religious communities. The film received the Special Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Thursday marks the Annual Roller Disco Party at Skates 280. Admission is free, and Pride organizers are promoting the event as fun for families and open to all ages.
Friday’s festivities are split between two events. The first, a VIP Party, takes place at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and begins at 6PM. Tickets to the dance are $100, and are available for purchase online. The second event, the Pride Dance, starts at 7PM at Covenant Community Church in Center Point.
Saturday and Sunday mark the week’s biggest events. On Saturday, the 24th Annual Pride Parade will make its way through Birmingham. The parade, which utilizes a “Mardi Gras” theme, begins in the Southside of Birmingham. The line-up begins at 6PM, while the parade itself begins at 8PM.
The parade, which originated in 1989, found itself in the midst of a legal battle back in 2009. The trial, and subsequent legal settlement, came about as a result of former Mayor Larry Langford’s decision to neither sign a proclamation nor provide a permit for the parade or for gay pride, citing religious beliefs.
Sunday wraps up the Central Alabama Pride Celebration with PRIDEFest, which begins at 1PM at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark Park. Originally called “Day in the Park,” PRIDEFest is the longest-running portion of the Central Alabama Pride events, dating back to the first organized Pride event in Birmingham in 1979.
All in all, Central Alabama Pride’s schedule of events provides a variety of events that should provide something for all of the celebration’s attendees. Atlantans who are looking for something to do over the weekend can take advantage of the relatively short commute and check out what fellow members of the LGBT community are doing in Birmingham.