Before you hit Piedmont Park for the 2012 Atlanta Pride festival, Pride has plans for you. Ramp up your excitement for all things L, G, B and T in the weeks leading up to the big gay main event with Stride Into Pride starting this weekend.

It’s not a new concept for Pride, but it is one that’s on steroids this year with more Stride Into Pride events than ever before. What started as four or five once-a-week Pride parties about a month before Atlanta Pride is now 18 strong and now includes the Pride AIDS Vigil and Mass Commitment Ceremony.

The Pride committee also credits new and beefed-up partnerships with gay bars and other event planners for the uptick in options.

“We are excited that there are so many events surrounding the Pride Festival,” Pride Board Chair Glen Paul Freedman says in a prepared statement. “These activities offer a wide range of options for anyone who may build their vacation around the Pride Festival, or for those local residents looking to get involved in a community activity prior the festival weekend.”

Here’s the full Stride Into Pride lineup in Pride’s Friday announcement:

STRIDE INTO PRIDE: ATLANTA PRIDE ANNOUNCES
OFFICIAL PRE-PRIDE EVENTS LISTINGS

Today the Atlanta Pride Committee (APC) released the Stride Into Pride lineup, a listing of events leading into the 2012 Pride Weekend.  The schedule of events, which begin this weekend, features something for everyone.

Schedules and locations are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date schedule information, visit Atlanta Pride online.

NFL Kick-off Sunday
Sunday, September 9: 1:00-3:00 p.m.
My Sister’s Room: 1271 Glenwood Avenue

The Atlanta Falcons take on the Kansas City Chiefs in this regular season opener. Volunteers from Atlanta Pride will be on hand to collect donations for the organization.

Pride Night
Friday, September 14: 10:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.

BJ Roosters: 2345 Cheshire Bridge Road
The dancing men of BJ Roosters will put on a show for you while volunteers from Atlanta Pride sell Jell-O shots and accept donations to raise money for the organization.

Backstreet Reunion
Saturday, September 15: Doors open at 8:30 p.m.
Show begins at 9:00 p.m.
Jungle Atlanta: 2115 Faulkner Road

Re-live the glory days of gay Atlanta’s nightlife with DJ Rob Reum, DJ Bill Berdeaux, and Charlie Brown’s Cabaret, complete with filming for a documentary about Backstreet. Cover is $5.00 before 11:00 p.m. and $10.00 after 11:00 p.m.

Dragnificent
Wednesdays, September 19-October 31
Doors open at 9:00 p.m., show begins at 10:00 p.m.
Jungle Atlanta: 2115 Faulkner Road
Formerly known as Dragnique, Atlanta’s drag talent competition is back with a vengeance. Each week, tips from the contestants will be collected and donated to a local charity.

Divine Rules Pageant for Pets Are Loving Support and I Am Divine Foundation
Saturday, September 22: 8:00 p.m.
Jungle Atlanta: 2115 Faulkner Road

Nicole Paige Brooks hosts this fundraiser for PALS and the I Am Divine Foundation with judges Michelle Visage, Fred Schneider of the B-52’s, and Phoenix from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

70s/80s Disco Party
Friday, September 28: 10:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
Atlanta Eagle: 306 Ponce de Leon Avenue

Shake your groove thing and do the robot at this retro dance party. Volunteers from Atlanta Pride will be on hand to collect donations for the organization.

Pride Night
Saturday, September 29: 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
Swinging Richards: 1400 Northside Drive NW

Boy Next Door puts sexy underwear on the hot dancers of Swinging Richards for a unique auction to raise money for Atlanta Pride.

Twisted Sister Karaoke
Wednesday, October 3: Doors open at 7:00 p.m., show begins at 9:00 p.m.
My Sister’s Room: 1271 Glenwood Avenue

With over 10,000 songs to pick from, come and belt out your favorite hip-hop, 80s, 90s, Top 40, and country hits. Volunteers from Atlanta Pride will be on hand to collect donations for the organization.

Out On Film
Thursday, October 4-Thursday, October 11
Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Atlanta’s favorite LGBT film festival. View the full schedule with complete film synopses and more in the Official 25th Anniversary Out On Film Program Guide.

Atlanta Pride Beer Bust
Saturday, October 6: 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Fifth Ivory Public House: 794 Juniper Street

Come enjoy a fall afternoon of football and fundraising for Atlanta Pride at this charming piano bar and restaurant and make sure you are thirsty for beer. Prizes will be raffled and a good time will be had by all.

Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Gala Local and National Heroes
Saturday, October 6: VIP admission 6:30 p.m., General admission 7:30 p.m.
764 Miami Circle

Come enjoy celebrity appearances and performances at this cocktail attire event with libations and eats included. Tickets can be purchased online: www.glaad.org/atlantagala

Mary-oke
Saturday, October 6: 10:00 p.m.-3:00 a.m.
Mary’s Neighborhood Bar: 1287 Glenwood Avenue

Come out early (8PM) for a pre-karaoke DJ set and enjoy $2 Draft Beers & $3 Well Cocktails! Then at 11PM, Your host, CJ, takes over the party for Saturday Night Mary-oke (voted Best in the City by GA Voice, Creative Loafing and David Magazine for the past 7 years!). Volunteers from Atlanta Pride will be on hand to collect donations for the organization.

NFL Sunday
Sunday, October 7: 1:00-3:00 p.m.
My Sister’s Room: 1271 Glenwood Avenue

Come, hang out, watch football, and raise money for a good cause. Volunteers from Atlanta Pride will be on hand to collect donations for the organization.

Out On Film Screening: “Love Free or Die” – Sponsored by the Atlanta Pride Committee
Sunday, October 7: 4:50 p.m.
Midtown Art Cinema: 931 Monroe Drive

A documentary on Gene Robinson, the openly gay bishop who set a precedent in New Hampshire state politics, and the battle for LGBT people to receive full acceptance in the faith. In June 2003, with the election of Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church came under fire when it became the first Christian church to elect an openly gay partnered person as a bishop. Since that time, Robinson has been at the epicenter for the LGBT community to be fully accepted in the faith. Macky Alston’s film, winner of a special award at the Sundance Film Festival, follows Robinson as he deals with the fight. View the full Out on Film schedule.

Atlanta Pride AIDS Vigil
Wednesday, October 10: 7:00-8:00 p.m.
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church: 781 Peachtree Street NE

This year’s vigil theme is “Remember in Love, Celebrate with Pride, Commit to Action.”  The annual Pride AIDS Vigil is a crucial part of Atlanta Pride’s festivities each year.  It is a time set aside to remember so many loved ones we have lost along the way to AIDS and a call to action for the staggering work yet to be done in the face of a pandemic that continues to infect our community at an alarming rate.  The joy of our Pride celebration is proportionate to the depth of our love.  Come join us as we Remember in Love, Celebrate with Pride, and Commit to Action.  All are welcome!

Atlanta Pride Night at Dragnificent
Wednesday, October 10: Doors open at 9:00 p.m., show starts at 10:00 p.m.
Jungle Atlanta: 2115 Faulkner Road

Come watch some of Atlanta’s best drag queens compete in this fierce talent competition. Tips collected from this show will be donated to Atlanta Pride.

Commitment Ceremony
Presented by Macy’s
Thursday, October 11: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
W Atlanta Midtown: 188 14th Street

This non-denominational ceremony gives couples the opportunity to pledge their commitment to each other publicly before friends and family. Couples who wish to register pay a small fee and receive a certificate marking the occasion.  Visit www.atlantapride.org for details and registration.

Dinner and Wine-tasting
Presented By: Chris Coleman Enterprises
Thursday, October 11: First seating is at 7:00 p.m., second seating is at 8:30 p.m.
Fifth Ivory Public House: 794 Juniper Street

Come enjoy dinner and wine with a silent auction and live entertainment. There are two options for your meal: $30.00/person for two-course meal with wine or $50.00/person for four-course meal with wine.