After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the LA Pride Parade returned on Sunday, June 12, on a new route in Hollywood.
The lively parade rolled along Hollywood and Cahuenga boulevards, featuring celebrities, elaborate fashion, ebullient music and myriad declarations of LGBTQ pride.
Following the parade, Pride Village wooed crowds Hollywood Boulevard, featuring sponsor tents, beverages, carnival attractions, vendors, performances and a mobile clinic from Equality California offering COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
Paula Abdul served as “Icon Grand Marshal,” and other notable participants included “Celebrity Grand Marshal” Mark Indelicato of “Ugly Betty” and “Hacks,” and “Community Grand Marshal” Sir Lady Java.
Miss Ukraine 2018, Veronika Didusenko, rode in a car with Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred in support of Ukraine in its war with Russia and LGBTQ rights.
The LA Pride Parade, produced by Christopher Street West, has been described as the second-largest pride parade in the nation. Usually taking place in West Hollywood, the parade was canceled in 2020, in what would have been its 50th anniversary, because of COVID-19 precautions. The parade was canceled again in 2021 because of COVID-19 concerns.
“We considered many options for the parade, both traditional and progressive,” Gerald Garth, vice president of Christopher Street West programs and initiatives, said in February’s announcement about the location change. “Hollywood as the original historical location for the first Los Angeles protest 50 years ago was a natural choice to honor what Pride really means and where Pride will go in the future. We are continuing to work closely with the city and community stakeholders to confirm additional details that we look forward to sharing very soon.”
LA Pride isn’t the only way to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ community this month.
Long Beach will host the region’s other major parade and festival from July 8 to 10 after going virtual the previous two years.
The July dates are a change from when Long Beach Pride has typically taken place, which is May. Long Beach Pride began in 1984 and typically attracts more than 75,000 people.
The change, organizers have said, is intended to allow celebrants to enjoy the beautiful downtown Long Beach views with warmer and longer days.
The parade, on Sunday, July 10, with be Long Beach’s 37th iteration.
The three-day Long Beach festival will include a rainbow roller rink, a silent disco, community walls for guests to share their stories and a drag makeup glam squad — who can give full makeovers, or just a quick touch up. There will be family- and senior-specific zones as well.
Pride will also feature the Transcendence Dome, a pop-up museum that will pay tribute to the transgender women of color who pioneered the festival.
And Long Beach has some musical headliners of its own: Rapper Iggy Azalea and Spanish singer-songwriter Natalia Jiménez will headline this year’s festival.
“This year’s Long Beach Pride will be our biggest,” Elsa Martinez, president of Long Beach Pride, said in a press release, “and will become the gold standard for Pride festivals across the globe.”
Pride Month activities aren’t reserved for only those two weekends.
San Pedro Pride, for example, will sponsor an outdoor party from 1 to 9 p.m. June 18 at 425 W. Fifth St. A Pride flag will be raised at Sixth Street and Harbor Boulevard, near the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.
That same day will also feature Catalina Island’s first large-scale Pride celebration. Catalina Pride will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Avalon and will feature a march and live entertainment.
And then, on June 24, LA Pride will return with an after-hours party at Universal Studios. That party will take place from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
But while LA Pride’s festival and parade are free, the Universal Studios party — and other Pride-related events — require tickets.
It does cost money to attend the Long Beach pride festival as well.
Source: Orange County Register