Los Angeles Gay Pride - June 8-10, 2012
California Gay Prides are a crazy mix. San Francisco mixes parties with politics, Long Beach offers a beachside vibe with pretty boys and urban cholos, while San Diego features casual California coolness in a semi-conservative setting. But when it comes to glittery goodness, activism with abs, entertainment with energy, bears and booty boys alongside abtastic lipstick lesbians, there's no other Gay Pride like Los Angeles. The 2012 event happens June 8-10 and includes numerous civic activities and rallies, the annual Dyke March, as well as Sunday's parade and a major festival in West Hollywood. This year it even includes a water park with pools and slides.
What? Seriously! These kids will create any excuse to strip off their shirts, and we love them for it. Check out all the hot happenings below.
FRIDAY - DYKE MARCH & RALLY
Celebrate the lesbian community at the Dyke March, which moves down Santa Monica Boulevard before returning to the LA Pride Festival grounds at San Vicente for a free after-party with refreshments and music. Entertainment on the main stage is headlined by Frenchie Davis and Beverly McClellan, with Playboy School and funny ladies Jenny McNulty and Fortune Feimster.
At this year's rally, Rita Gonzales will be honored with the Etheridge Award (named after Melissa), which is given to a lesbian "whose community leadership has had a significant impact within and for the lesbian community." Gonzales has worked extensively in the media spotlighting LGBT issues, and with Stonewall, One Archive, Women on a Roll and the LA Women's Theater Project, and she currently chairs the Board of Bienestar.
Friday, June 8
7:30 PM start time
Intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and San Vicente Blvd. in West Hollywood
SATURDAY & SUNDAY FESTIVAL
Saturday 12:00 Noon – 12:00 Midnight
Sunday 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
$20 per day
Held in the newly renovated West Hollywood Park, the festival is the largest gathering of the LGBT community in Southern California. There are numerous dance tents covering everything from circuit music and Country Western to Latino and urban sounds. Erotic City educates (and excites) the 18+ crowd in the world of leather and kink. There's also numerous exhibitors, food and drink vendors, and tons of super hot and thousands of hot people to meet. There's also that water park we mentioned (see below).
Live entertainment on multiple stages, with headline performances like Belinda Carlisle and Alex Mapa, is another huge draw for the festival. Check out the current list below, with more names to be announced soon.
FESTIVAL WATER PARK - SummerTramp
For the first time ever in West Hollywood, LA Pride will play host to the fun, sexy, flirty SummerTramp. Normally held in downtown, SummerTramp serves up a wet and wild attitude, SummerTramp will feature the biggest water slide in California, two above ground pools and a mix of the hottest local DJs and hosts all weekend, including Aaron Elvis, Casey Alva, Josh Peace, Chris Bowen, Daisy O'Dell and more. Victor Rodriguez will host "The Mess Around Lot Hop" on both Saturday and Sunday night.
This official LA Pride water park is free with paid admission into the festival.
SUNDAY PRIDE PARADE
START TIME - 11:00 AM
More than 400,000 participants, spectators and marchers attend this emotionally charged experience. This year the Community Grand Marshall is The Trevor Project, and the Celebrity Grand Marshall will be announced shortly. Honorees include Person of the Year Chaz Bono, California's Attorney General Kamala Harris gets the George Moscone Ally Award, and the youth award goes to Katy Butler who launched the peition urging the MPAA to change the movie Bully's rating from "R" to "PG-13." Learn about all the honorees here.
Permit parking in West Hollywood is removed from 7:00 AM Saturday to 7:00 AM Monday. The city suggests parking East of Fairfax, at the Pacific Design Center, the Kings Road parking structure on Santa Monica Blvd. (enter on Kings Road from Fountain), and at the Beverly Center. NOTE: Illegally parked vehicles will be towed.
Can't make it to LA Pride? Watch it starting at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, June 10, West Hollywood Channel 10 or LAPRIDE.org/webcast.
Traffic will be closed on Santa Monica Blvd. between Fairfax Ave. and Doheny Dr. starting at 6:00 AM on Sunday, June 10. Santa Monica Blvd. will re-open immediately at the end of the end of the parade, which may be as late as 4:00 PM.
Parade photos: SheWired.com