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A New Queen Is Crowned At A Nearly Decade Absent Atlanta Pride Event

A historic Pride pageant has returned and has crowned a new Queen.

The Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant has returned after being gone for almost a year, according to Project Q.

According to Jamie Fergerson, Atlanta Pride Committee executive director, the original drag pageant faded away in 2009 due to its huge expense, logistical leaps, and

lack of community appeal.

“It was an event that was expensive and difficult to run, and people had lost interest in the community, so we stopped having that in favor of other programming,” she told Project Q. “For the last year or so, we’ve heard more interest.”

The call for a revival of this event came from entrepreneur Keith Young who is the co-owner of the Midtown Tavern and the after hour event series called Xion. Young reached out to drag performer Celeste Holmes and husband Billy Ledford as they were the last people to organize the event. They then agreed to help bring a return to the Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant.

“I’m excited for it to be back, because Atlanta Pride is one of the largest in the country,” said Holmes. “It’s definitely the mecca for the South. To have a Miss Atlanta Pride Pageant and have someone represent Atlanta Pride all year long at events is going to add to the cache of what Atlanta Pride is and will expand the audience even further.”  

But not only did the winner of the September 30th event earn the title and responsibilities of Atlanta’s Pride Queen, but she also earned a heap a rewards.

The winner of the event received a crown, $500 in cash, a spot in the Atlanta Pride parade, a photo shoot with local photographer Just Toby, a gift certificate for a wig by Jonathan Nieves, a spot in the Shooting Stars Cabaret in Piedmont Park during Atlanta Pride, and a cast slot in Holmes’ drag show in Midtown Tavern after the pageant.

And who won the title? Miss Sheena Cassadine!

Cassadine and her fellow contestants were judged on Pride presentation, talent, and evening gown categories (according to this Georgia USofA pdf about the rules and regulations).

In the end, it was Cassadine who took home the title and all the prizes that went with it. Now, Cassadine will act as a representative of Atlanta’s gay community for the rest of the year. Congratulations to her!

h/t: Project Q, Georgia USofA,