AUGUSTA Ga. (WJBF) —- Augusta Pride is going on 10 years strong. Volunteers told NewsChannel 6 reporter, Devin Johnson, this year is going to be the biggest pride event so far. Friday’s event kicks off with “Beats on Broad.” Which volunteers say is going to be the biggest dance party in the Garden City.
“Over the last 10 years, we have grown to a two-day festival with other events throughout the week,” said Augusta Pride president, James Mintz. “We’ve have grown to 3,000 to almost 15,000.”
Mintz says they are estimating to cash in about $1.3 million from this year’s growing festival.
“One of the perceptions was, we didn’t have enough people to have a festival 10 years ago,” explained Mintz. “I think as we have grown each year, we have such a powerful impact.”
An impact not only to bring the LGBTQ community together but also, educating those about gender equality. For example, the high suicide rate amongst LGBTQ youth.
“If you have to experience homelessness, bullying, being rejected from family and friends, also sex trafficking, then suicide is something common,” said Gender Inclusion Organizer, Chanel Haley
People told Devin, Augusta Pride is a family-friendly event for the two-state to come together as one.
“I think no matter where you are, you should be who you are,” said Kaite Jackson. “The fact we are in the south and they can make this such a big event; it shows everyone is equal. Everyone should accept that and get on board with that.”
And if you attend the event, you might hear this …
“Happy Pride!” shouted Jackson and Allie Brown.
The parade begins on Saturday morning at 10:30 am. Following behind that is the free festival open to the community.