The 14th annual Savannah Pride Festival will be Sept. 14 at Forsyth Park, and everybody's welcome.

"We're trying to focus on local talent as best we can," says Mark Hill, president of Savannah Pride. "Our pride festival is a lot different than other prides across the nation.

"We don't sequester ourselves away. We are more inclusive. We want to make everybody welcome. We've always geared toward family events to attract everybody. It's a community picnic where we see friends and make some new ones."

The festival serves a serious purpose in a fun way.

"This is a safe haven for a day for people who don't have family support," Hill says. "Some of us are blessed to have our families support us, our jobs support us, but some people don't have that blessing.

"At the festival, they can be themselves among people who understand and love them," he says. "They can breathe a little bit here - everybody can breathe here."

There will be local entertainment and dozens of vendors. This year's headliner is local band Cusses. Roxxxy Andrews, a finalist in Season 5 of "Rupaul's Drag Race," also will appear.

"Cusses played last year, and when our board got together we decided on them," Hill says. "They are extremely talented folks and also nice.

"We're proud to be focusing on Savannah this year, and representing the creative ability that exists in our community," he says. "We've maintained our focus on giving back and being a part of the community. This is just one way we feel we're able to do that."

Savannah Pride has given donations and support to several charities, including Safe Shelter, a domestic violence shelter in Savannah.

Locals have always been supportive of Savannah Pride, and it has been supportive in return.

"It's a natural progression here because of the attitude in Savannah," Hill says. "We don't have to do that sequestered thing because Savannah is a unique city. It embraces diversity and celebrates diversity."

In 2012, Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson was presented the first Spirit of Pride award.

Jackson will return this year to present the second Spirit of Pride award to local activist Pam Miller.

"Pam Miller has devoted her life to serving not just the LGBT community, but the Savannah community in its entirety," says Chris Brown, media/public relations director for Pride.

"Her drive and commitment are inspiring, and have helped this community achieve so much of the progress it's seen in recent years."

"She's a dynamo," Hill says. "She works with other organizations to be politically active, socially active. She does everything and she's always been at the forefront when there's an issue that has to be dealt with."

The event is family friendly, with activities for all ages, including carnival games. To help celebrants stay cool, there will be misting stations.

New this year will be the Savannah Pride VIP tent.

For $40 admission, VIP ticketholders will get front-row seating, free beer and wine all day, admission to the festival and the ability to enjoy the entire day in a lounge-like atmosphere.

"We've got about 64 vendors coming, different nonprofits that are coming," Hill says. "We've got groups like the Rape Crisis Center, Victim Witness, Family First and different churches that are setting up.

"There's some good stuff happening here," he says. "There's going to be a lot of color, a lot of fun.

"We've even got a dunking booth out there where we can dunk people," Hill says. "I'm going to be one of them."