With characteristic verve, LA Pride is set to celebrate its 45th anniversary beginning Friday, June 12. The three-day festival in West Hollywood features international performers, local artists, vendors, and culminates with a parade that showcases and supports the LGBT community.
LA Pride started in June 1970 by producing one of the first gay-pride parades. The first Pride celebration in Los Angeles marked the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots in New York City, a pivotal event in the movement for equal rights for gays and lesbians. In the process of organizing that first parade, Christopher Street West, a civil rights group, was born. CSW continues to sponsor LA Pride.
While area businesses will host a number of smaller events throughout the month of June, the official festivities take place at West Hollywood Park from June 12 through June 14. Here are some of the highlights of LA Pride 2015.
Friday, June 12: Tamar Braxton
The weekend’s music kicks off with a performance by rhythm and blues singer Tamar Braxton. Braxton is known for her hit “Love and War” as well as for appearing on the reality show “Braxton Family Values.” She comes from a family of musicians and is the younger sister of singer Toni Braxton. The evening of free entertainment is billed as “Lavender Menace,” and is being called a celebration of women. Lavender Menace was the moniker of a group of lesbian feminists formed in 1970.
Saturday, June 13: Kesha
Kesha, the festival’s headline entertainment, will take the main stage on the second night of the festival. The rapper, singer, and songwriter is an apt choice for LA Pride’s festival because her high-energy performances focus on partying while her political activism centers around LGBT rights. She’s famous for her songs “We R Who We R,” “TiK ToK,” and “Timber.”
Saturday, June 13: Ana Barbara
Ana Barbara is a Latin Grammy Award Winner and will grace the Latino Carnival stage on Saturday. The popular Mexican singer and songwriter has had numerous hit songs including “Fruta Prohibida” and “Los Busque.” Barbara is one of the most renown performers of grupera, a genre of Mexican folk-inspired rock music.
Sunday, June 14: Pride Parade
The centerpiece of the festival is the parade that takes place at 11 a.m. on Santa Monica Boulevard near West Hollywood Park. Highlighting diversity, the parade is sure to include floats, bands, performers and spectacle. Organizers estimate the crowds, including both participants and those lining the streets, could top 400,000.
Sunday, June 14: Fifth Harmony
The last of the event’s big-name musical acts, Fifth Harmony, closes out the final day of the festival. The all-female group performs pop music and is known for its hits “Sledgehammer” and “Bo$$.” The five-piece ensemble is popular with younger audiences and won Favorite New Artist at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
Festival admission will be charged for Saturday and Sunday events and includes access to the headline performances. Information about ticket prices and concert times can be found at lapride.org.
Image credits to welikela