Even with Wednesday off, you work hard for a full, fulfilling weekend. Atlanta’s LGBT special events deliver. Continue your holiday week with our favorite options for your Friday through Sunday downtime.

Friday, July 6
Atlanta Bear Fest (top photo) brings gay bears from around the country for four days of daylight and nighttime events under this year’s theme “Roman Holiday” @ Courtyard Northlake Marriott and Atlanta Eagle, all weekend. Read our preview.

“Evelyn in Purgatory” (second photo), the Essential Playwrighting Award winner, opens with a cocktail reception as the latest play by gay Atlanta playwright Topher Payne about a group of teachers awaiting disciplinary hearings @ Actor’s Express, 8 p.m.

GA Voice Best of Atlanta Party celebrates the newspaper’s winners and nominees in mulitple LGBT categories with emcee Melissa Carter plus DJs Vicki Powell and Mike Pope @ Altitude in W Atlanta Midtown, 6:30 p.m.

“Headwaters: Didja hear?” shakes up White County in North Georgia with a play of the real-life hubbub behind the national headline-making effort by “uppity gay kids” who tried to form a Gay-Straight Alliance at their school. Make a day trip of it @ Sautee Nacoochee Center, 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays until July 22. Read our preview.

Sunset Garden pumps beats on the patio Friday and Saturday nights this summer to raise money for non-profit organizations, tonight with DJ Christopher Kind benefiting AEN and serving as the business group’s monthly networking event @ Burkhart’s, 7 p.m.

Freemasons (third photo), the legendary UK DJs/Producers of mega dance hits, returns to Atlanta for a back-by-popular demand performance to benefit Joining Hearts @ Heretic, 10 p.m. Read our interview.

Dance Fever: Fireworks edition celebrates Independence Week with DJs M & Twee and all the women who love women who love to dance @ My Sister’s Room, 10 p.m.

First Friday Freedom Party celebrates the red, white and blue and the elite but not uptight man in you with Wassup N ATL @ Jungle, 10 p.m.

Kinky Carnival with the Onyx group for black leathermen offers giveaways and more kinky fun during their monthly bar night @ Atlanta Eagle, 10 p.m.


Saturday, July 7
For the Kid in All of Us Beer Bust (fourth photo) raises money for the gays who bring you Toy Party in December and Backpack in the Park later this month. Beer Bust @ Joe’s, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunset Garden pumps beats on the patio Friday and Saturday nights this summer to raise money for non-profit organizations, tonight with DJ Bryan Craft benefiting Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and serving as Sister Ursula Polari/Art Davenport’s Birthday Party @ Burkhart’s, 7 p.m.

2012 Mr. Atlanta Bear & Atlanta Cub Contest (fifth photo) pits burly against burly for the title @ Atlanta Eagle, 10 p.m. It’s part of the all-day, Atlanta Bear Fest “Roman Holiday” weekend. View last year’s contest photos.

Early Country and Late Night Dance puts a twang in your Saturday with two-steppin and line dancin, followed by a contrasting dance floor beats party with DJ Mike Pope @ Heretic, 8 p.m. and 12 a.m.

Gamma Wet T-shirt & Tighty Whitey Contest supports Hotlanta Softball’s Gamma women’s team on their quest to the Gay Softball World Series. Contestants get soaking wet @ My Sister’s Room, 9 p.m.

DJ Dan DeLeon (sixth photo) brings his California dreamin’ beats to town for one night only @ Jungle, 10 p.m. DJ Lydia Prim keeps the party going without moving your car @ Xion, 3 a.m. - 7 a.m.

Atlanta’s Hottest Athlete 2012 introduces a new, four-week competition from Atlanta’s gay sports leagues with meet and greet before and contest each Saturday @ Amsterdam, 9 p.m. The winner each week goes to the July 28 finals.

DJ Vicki Powell spins the tunes and rocks the house on the first Saturday of each month @ Cockpit, 10 p.m.


Sunday, July 8
Go eat brunch. Before you do, weigh in on this week’s Queery and tell us Who’s serving Atlanta’s gayest brunch realness?

Joining Hearts Patron/Sponsor Appreciation Party (seventh photo) celebrates the donors who make Atlanta’s biggest gay pool party fundraiser happen @ Nelson Mullins, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Hotlanta Softball League final regular-season games hurtle the teams toward the end-of-season Commissioner’s Cup of their spring/summer season @ West Metro Atlanta Softball Complex, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. View photos from last week’s final official Extra Innings Beer Bust. But it wouldn’t be HSL Softball without an unofficial Extra Innings Beer Bust, anyway @ Frogs, 4 p.m.

Wet Silent Sundays let you laze away the day poolside with the gay and gay-adjacent showing off their swimwear with $25 food and beverage purchase @ Wet/W Hotel Midtown, 12 noon - 7 p.m.

Sunday Service with DJ Vicki Powell (bottom photo) worships the monthly patio dance set @ “Church” bar (Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium), 7 p.m.

New Faces of July Hotness is the latest drag show to hit with Aqualencia Litré, Violet Chachke, Regina Simms and new drag faces @ Friends on Ponce, 7 p.m.

The Armorettes perform their weekly camp drag fundraising show with special guests and their signature mayhem in tow @ Burkhart’s, 8 p.m.