L.A. Pride hosting in-person events in June after parade canceled
L.A.’s Pride Parade is off the table for a second year, but the organization behind it announced some in-person events that will bring the celebration to more parts of the city, including a special night at Dodger Stadium and an outdoor movie screening at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Earlier this month, organizers said there wasn’t enough time to plan the massive parade, which typically is held each June during LGBTQ Pride Month in West Hollywood. Instead, virtual events were to be offered.
Now, falling coronavirus cases in Los Angeles and across California have led to wider reopenings. Once it became apparent that L.A.’s cultural life could begin to safely come back, Pride organizers got to work planning more manageable events, said Noah Gonzalez, board vice president of Christopher Street West, the nonprofit organization that produces L.A. Pride.
“We didn’t know a month ago that we were gonna be able to do this,” Gonzalez said. “We know our community is so desperate to get together and be with one another, and we’re excited that we get to bring this opportunity to them.”
There will be no LA Pride parade in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are virtual and charity events planned.
A more recently minted annual event, LGBTQ+ Pride Night at Dodger Stadium, is set to kick off June 11 with an an LGBTQ+ artist singing the national anthem, Pride organizers said.
Local LGBTQ+ first responders will get a moment of recognition, and after the game, vaccinated attendees can head out to the field to watch the inaugural fireworks show of the season.
“The Dodgers take so much pride in celebrating Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ community and are excited to host our eighth annual LGBTQ+ Night at Dodger Stadium, which continues to grow into one of the biggest Pride nights in all of professional sports,” Erik Braverman, the Dodgers’ senior vice president of marketing, said in a statement.
Two weeks later, on June 26, L.A. Pride is partnering with film organization Cinespia to hold a movie screening under the stars at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It’s the first time the groups have worked together, though Cinespia has held screenings to celebrate the LGTBQ+ community in the past.
“We’ve always wanted to collaborate, and this was the perfect opportunity,” said Cinespia founder John Wyatt, who lauded the idea of “having Pride all over the city.”
There were men bedecked in fairy wings. Go-go dancers on a flatbed truck. It was June 28, 1970, and it was the nation’s first legally permitted gay pride parade.
The film selection hasn’t been announced, but Alia Penner, Cinespia’s creative director, said the group has something it’s been waiting to show.
“It’s going to be such a dazzling, fun celebration of Pride on the big screen, and everyone’s going to party,” Penner said.
Besides the in-person events, the nonprofit behind L.A. Pride is producing a concert with TikTok, a television special that will air on KABC-TV Channel 7 and is launching a give-back campaign that will allow people to volunteer, donate goods or give money to organizations throughout L.A. County.
Additional events to be held throughout the summer are in the works, Gonzalez said.
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