Pride festivals are a heart-filled, community-driven staple in many a city nowadays, but that wasn't always the case. A number of places across the country sought to become more proactive about tolerance and inclusion following the Stonewall riots of 1969, and a handful did introduce gay pride parades on a small scale (at least small for where things stand today).
Los Angeles was one of those cities at the forefront of this movement. And while there've been a few bumps and changes and reroutes along the way -- remember when it was in Hollywood, instead of West Hollywood, its current home? -- LA Pride has become a beacon of how to put together a fun, join-in, sometimes raucous, always lively weekend-long party.
Make that three-day party, which will roll out this year from Friday, June 7 through Sunday, June 9.
What's on the brimming-with-stuff schedule? The parade is always the mondo, major to-do, and that's set to strut on Sunday, June 9 at 11 a.m. down Santa Monica Boulevard (the parade steps off at Crescent Heights Boulevard and heads west).
Who will the Grand Marshal be? That's always one of the big questions, but the The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has been named Community Grand Marshal.
Several entertainment stages will dot West Hollywood Park, including the Country Pavilion and Latino Carnival. A heritage and art exhibition and other community booth-type locations will also be located at the park.
A one-day admission to the festival is twenty bucks.
It's year 43 for Christopher Street West's annual celebration, a gathering that continues to lead the way for other pride start-ups around the globe. But things continue to evolve, even now: Last year LA Pride got a new motto that still stands: "...and proud of it!" If ever a happy exclamation mark was warranted, it is certainly warranted in the motto of our long-running, lead-the-way pride fest.