The Scoop – Fall 2021
AthFest Music and Arts Festival
Typically known as a summer festival, AthFest has been rescheduled to the fall season. The annual celebration of local culture showcases musicians and artists with a passion for expression and idividuality. Festivities include outdoor live music from local performers, the artist market featuring work from all different mediums, food vendors for all hungry bellies, and KidsFest events to let their little hearts run wild.
For 25 years Athfest has prided themselves in raising money for AthFest Educates, which directly supports music and arts education for K-12 students in Athens. Since their beginning, AthFest Educates has given $489,000 in grants.
For more information, visit athfest.com
Put on your walkin’ (or dancin’) shoes and get ready for an amazing, and extensive, lineup of musicians taking over in-town porches with their glorious tunes. This year, Porchfest has expanded to include new neighborhoods and the 2021 Boo-Le-Bark Parade! Groove your way around town on October 10.
October 29-31, 2021
Calling all freaks! Put on your best costume and join in on Athens’ Halloween Mardi Gras party for live music and parade festivities. This annual Wild Rumpus has already started off with a virtual art show hosted by Tiny ATH Gallery until October 31! Proceeds from all sales benefit Wild Rumpus, Food2Kids and the artists! The fun continues with an online fundraiser auction on October 26 (until October 31). Trust me, you definitely won’t want to miss these auction items. It all flows right into the main event, the Wild Rumpus Show along with the Parade and Spectacle! End the night with a group howl at the moon — believe me, when the time comes you’ll want to do it. Most of all, “Prepare to Rump!” For more information, visit wildrumpus.org
Athens to Savannah Ride
Start this three-day, 235-mile ride off right at Jittery Joe’s Coffee in Athens and end it with a relaxing stay in historic Savannah. This year, the Athens to Savannah ride is bigger than ever.
The construction of the Georgia Hi-Lo Trail is the star of the show, stretching 211-miles long that connects the two cities. The 2021 ride acts as a fundraiser to complete this project, which will become America’s longest paved multi-use trail. The ride and Hi-Lo Trail will empower development and connection through rural Georgia.
For more information, visit athenstosavannah.com
Athens Pride - Athens leaders unite for first ever Pride Parade
The city of Athens always has taken pride in identifying itself with the European city of Athens, Greece.
Now, 16 years after the first Pride Parade was held in one of the world’s oldest cities in 2005, the Peach State’s own “Classic City” is preparing for its own first downtown parade following similar celebrations in other Georgia towns.
Athenspride.org has posted, “Athens Pride’s Board announces the 2021 Street Festival will return on [Saturday] November 13, complete with musical talent, performance arts, our annual drag show, vendors and a special new event we’ll be announcing soon!”
The special new event has been revealed to be the city’s first downtown Pride Parade.
The Pride Parade and festival in Athens, Greece, now held in June, draws roughly 40,000 area residents and worldwide visitors.
Even conservative cities in the Bible Belt of the Deep South have learned how great of an impact that these festivals can have on their communities.
Officials in 1735 founded Augusta, Ga., former capital of the state, report that the pre-Covid Pride Festival of 2019 drew an estimated 14,000 attendees in its 10th anniversary year; bringing in $1.3 million in economic impact.
Organizers always have praised Augusta public safety and local government officials for ensuring a fun and safe event for everyone.
After a lapse in 2020, the Augusta festival returned in June 2021 with social distancing suggested for the entertainment and vendors at the Augusta Common, minus the heavily-attended parade.
Organizers of the Athens Pride Festival are planning to have a street festival with local vendors, local musical and performance artists, the Annual Starlight Showcase and the 2021 Athens Pride After Party.
Visit athenspride.org for details being announced.
The LGBTQ community of Athens in 1998 gathered for a potluck picnic under the pavilion at Lake Herrick for an informal fun day. The cultural celebration by 2011 had expanded to more arts offerings in downtown Lay Park.
Two years later, the Athens Pride organization achieved 501(c)(3) nonprofit status with its goals of promoting self-affirmation, increasing visibility and building community among diverse individuals.
Among the leaders of Athens Pride are Jarrett Mann Martin, 2021-2022 president (board member since 2018), and Cameron Harrelson, vice president and spokesperson of Athens Pride.
Martin graduated from the University of Georgia in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in housing policy and management. He is the team leader of Athens Georgia Homes at Keller Williams realty in nearby Watkinsville.
Harrelson, who moved to Athens in 2013 to attend UGA, and as readers of Athens Magazine know from the December 2020 issue, is the originator and host of the increasingly popular “Classic City Crime” podcast under his broadcast name of Cameron Jay.
He also has been the director of several Athens’ LGBTQ Pride Day Festivals coordinating the performances of entertainers, volunteers and other participants with his local time efforts to get the Athens mayor and council to support an annual Pride Parade like those in other major Georgia cities.
“We love you,” the Athens Pride website posts. “No matter who you are, where you come from, or your current situation- we are here to help. Please contact us if you are experiencing crisis, are new to the area, or simply have questions about our organization.”
Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (ATHICA)
The non-profit gallery exhibits innovative artists on national and international levels. Year-round performances and events complement the rotating themes of the museum, so there is always something new. Exhibits like Remote Residue by Doppler Projects (October 21-November 21) immerse viewers with all five senses and feature a number of artists and mediums.