Head to LA Pride to See Headliners Mariah Carey and Megan Thee Stallion
LA’s Pride Month festivities are packing a major punch this year.
When the non-profit Christopher Street West put on the world’s first-ever permitted parade advocating for gay rights in June of 1970, it was just a year after the police raid of Greenwich Village gay bar the Stonewall Inn, which led to days of escalating violence, protests, riots, and the beginnings of a widespread and interconnected gay liberation movement. Before the Stonewall Uprising, similar demonstrations protesting police brutality towards LGBTQ+ communities occurred at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district in 1966 and at Silver Lake’s Black Cat Tavern in 1967.
While times have changed, they still haven’t changed enough. Around the globe, including in many cities and states across America, there are ongoing efforts to deny and strip rights from LGBTQ+ communities, especially trans people. That’s why it’s so important to counteract such measures by making your voice heard and demonstrating your acceptance of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Now extended from a one-day parade into an entire month full of activities and festivals throughout the city, Pride is a reminder to do just that.
Here’s everything you need to know to get into the main events—the LA Pride in the Park festival on June 9 and 10 and the LA Pride Parade on Sunday, June 11 on Hollywood Boulevard, which is the site of the original parade 53 years ago.
Where and when is this year’s official Pride Parade?
The 2023 Pride Parade is June 11, with step-off scheduled for 11:00 am at Highland and Sunset, then it will proceed North via Highland up to Hollywood Blvd. Then it’ll head East on Hollywood to Cahuenga before heading back South to Sunset. It sounds confusing, but it’s basically an upside-down U.
What’s happening at the parade, and how do I get there?
Over 130 floats, marchers, exotic cars, twirlers, performers, and more will be there. Margaret Cho is the Icon Grand Marshal, and there will be a special celebration honoring Leslie Jordan as the Legacy Grand Marshal, a new category. Parking in Hollywood is tough to begin with, and that’s before they close all these streets and thousands of revelers descend upon the area. Go Metro! Connect to the LA Metro B (Red) Line and exit Hollywood/Highland or Hollywood/Vine Station. The Metro has many Park & Ride lots around the county, so it’s an option no matter where you’re coming from.
What do I do after the Parade?
At the end of the Parade’s yellow brick road there’s Pride Village, a street fair on Hollywood Boulevard between Vine St. and Gower. There will be delicious food and drinks, two entertainment stages, a local vendor market, and plenty of dancing courtesy of DJ Couples Therapy and Gay Asstrology. It runs just about all day, from 12 pm to 8 pm, and entry is free and open to everyone. The goal, according to Garth, is for “All of those community experiences to bring Pride to life in Hollywood.”
Is there a festival too?
On June 9 and 10, there’s LA Pride in the Park, a massive two-day party featuring music, activities, exhibitions, vendors, food, and plenty of drinks. There are single-day tickets and Weekend Passes available with VIP options for every comfort level. You can even rent a locker if you want a secure place to charge your phone. It’s at LA State Historic Park in Chinatown, and you should definitely take public transit to this one too.
This year’s Pride in the Park needed two days for all the talent booked. Megan Thee Stallion will headline Friday, and Mariah Carey will headline Saturday! There’s more than just A-list music talent, though. The venue also has a food fair, a beer garden, a sober garden, and an Erotic City for the leather community.
Do I need a ticket?
Yes, tickets are available online. General Admission for the weekend is $169, and VIP runs $589. That extra cash gets you access to a couple of special viewing areas, a VIP entrance, a VIP lounge, premium food vendors, and, best of all, luxury bathrooms. Single-day tickets are $99 for Friday and $349 for VIP, while Saturday will cost you $139 for General Admission and $369 for VIP.
Is anything else going on?
There’s so much more. West Hollywood, for example, is having its own Pride festival, a street fair with a stage, and Sunday’s parade, this weekend from June 2-4. This will include the annual Dyke March and Women’s Freedom Festival.
There’s also Pride is Universal, a rainbowed-out after-hours party at Universal Studios on June 8. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles is presenting a free one-hour concert at West Hollywood Park on June 17, and on June 8 and 28, comedians Joan Haley Ford and Cait Raft are bringing two nights of “unhinged TRANS sketch comedy” to The Lyric Hyperion with stand-up from Nori Reed.
The most important thing, says Garth, is to remember that “Pride doesn’t look like any one experience, and it doesn’t belong to any one neighborhood.” Everyone is welcome, and there are events for all!