SANTA ANA CELEBRATION: While two of the state's -- and, indeed, the planet's -- largest pride parties are both hallmarks of June, LGBT gatherings dot the warm-weather calendar throughout the Golden State. There's Long Beach's famous parade in June and San Diego in July and Orange County in August. (LA and San Francisco are of course the June stalwarts.) So how does OC put on a pride spectacular, one of the last of the season? With a huge family festival that stretches through downtown Santa Ana, and stretches over the better part of a day, too. The date is Saturday, Aug. 9 and the festival is on from noon to 10 p.m.
ON THE MAIN STAGE? Look for singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee, DJ-singer Ray Isaac, and comedian Ana Gasteyer (presented by La Mirada Theatre), plus several other bands, funny people, and crooners. For sure, there is a dance tent, with a bevy of performers at the turntables, plus a caboodle of other to-dos. Like? A screening of the documentary "Bridegroom," a Pride Comedy Hour, a line-up of food trucks, speakers aplenty, and a kids club, complete with water balloons and treasure hunt.
AS FOR THIS YEAR'S THEME? "Pride is YOU" is the 2014 message for the festival, which offers free admission. Some 10,000 people turned out to celebrate in 2013, so look for an ever-growing party that puts the emphasis on community, history, and fun, not to mention family and friendships. Oh, and the OC Pride symbol? It's an orange with a rainbow inside -- sweet. Support pride and head for downtown Santa Ana for music, merriment, and that togetherness kind of spirit.