West Hollywood held its first official Pride festival last year, after a much-publicized split with Christopher Street West, which moved the Los Angeles Pride event out of West Hollywood for the first time in over 40 years. WeHo Pride, which was held the first weekend of June 2022 exactly one week before CSW’s LA Pride, was considered a success by the city, and plans have now been announced for its 2023 festivities.
“Last year, we kicked off West Hollywood’s first ever Pride in monumental fashion with concerts, community events and a parade down historic Santa Monica Boulevard, and this year we’re continuing in the tradition of being the kickoff to Pride month here in West Hollywood, upping the game by having a larger street fair as well as world renowned singers like Grace Jones performing at the Out Loud Music Festival for all to enjoy,” Mayor Pro Tempore John Erickson said.
WeHo Pride will showcase the city from June 2-4. In addition to the parade on June 4, the event’s street fair will take place on June 3 and 4, the Women’s Freedom Festival and Dyke March will be held on June 3 and the OUTLOAD @ WeHo Pride music festival will be rocking West Hollywood Park all weekend. Additional community Pride events will occur from May 22 to June 30.
“After a successful inaugural WeHo Pride event last year, I can only imagine that this year’s event will be even better,” Councilwoman Lauren Meister said. “We appreciate the community input we have received, and we are all looking forward to another great 41 days of WeHo Pride arts and cultural events, WeHo Pride weekend and [the] WeHo Pride Parade.”
The street fair will include vendors, artists and performers. The city is looking for a wide range of activities and options, so there will be something for every attendee. The family-friendly street fair will include a community stage highlighting all members of the LGBTQ+ community and is open to everyone. Applicants looking for free booth space can apply at citygrows.com/eventservices/weho-pride-2023-community-group-independent-event-application-copy. Other interested organizations can apply at docs.google.com/forms/d/1i4cARGuVgiflHrm6HmUHoAZfdk6Vm8iR1L7RZgxxmqM/viewform?edit_requested=true.
West Hollywood is widely considered to be one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the country. According to a 2019 community study, 33% of the population identify as gay men. Councilman John Heilman mentioned how the city is a safe haven for the queer community, and how recent anti-trans legislation in Tennessee and Florida, as well as the decision by the Huntington Beach City Council to nix the Pride flag this June, has heightened the importance of the celebration.
“It’s always great to celebrate Pride in West Hollywood,” Heilman said. “With the constant attacks on our community in other parts of United States and in other countries, Pride in West Hollywood is a great time to celebrate the LGBTQI+ community in Southern California. It is also a time to redouble our efforts to help communities which are under attack.”
“WeHo Pride is a celebration of love and inclusion,” Los Angeles County Supervisor, Lindsey P. Horvath, 3rd District, said. “This year, we raise the Progress Pride flag even higher to declare safe space for our LGBTQ+ community under attack in neighboring communities and throughout the country. West Hollywood is and remains a beacon of hope; I will be proud to stand with the community and join in the festivities.”
“It’s going to be more community oriented, more inclusive and [more fun] than ever,” Mayor Sepi Shyne said.
For information, visit wehopride.com.Some of the headlining acts announced include Orville Peck, Santigold and Carly Rae Jepsen.
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