Parade caps three-day LA Pride celebration

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Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — The LA Pride Parade made its way through Hollywood June 11, highlighting the last day of this year’s three-day Pride celebration.

The parade began at 11 a.m. from Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue. Its route then moved north on Highland, east on Hollywood Boulevard and south on Cahuenga on the way to Sunset Boulevard.

Comedian Margaret Cho served as the icon grand marshal, honoring her years of anti-racism and anti-bullying advocacy and her support of LGBTQ+ rights, according to the Christopher Street West Association, which produces the LA Pride celebration.

The late actor Leslie Jordan, who died last October when he suffered a heart attack while driving in Hollywood, was the legacy grand marshal, a new designation that will “posthumously celebrate those who have made an everlasting impact on the hearts and lives of our community, according to Christopher Street West. A group of Jordan’s relatives and friends rode in the parade in a custom vehicle.

“We are overjoyed by Christopher Street West’s heartfelt recognition to name Leslie as LA Pride’s legacy grand marshal,” Jordan’s sister, Jana “Cricket” Jordan, said in a statement. “This honor further solidifies the positive impact he made in the world, but more importantly for the LGBTQ+ community. His spirit continues to bring love and light.”

The ACLU of Southern California was chosen as the community grand marshal for the parade to recognize its 100th anniversary “of fighting for LGBTQ+ civil rights.” Organizers of LA Pride noted that the ACLU helped Christopher Street West sue the city in 1970 so it could obtain a parade permit for the first Pride Parade.

Singer-actress Janelle Monáe was among those joining the ACLU contingent in the parade.

The parade was followed by festivities at LA Pride Village along Hollywood Boulevard between Vine and Gower streets. The event included 90 vendors, two stages of live entertainment, food, drinks and more.

On June 10, Mariah Carey headlined day two of the two-day Pride in the Park festival at Los Angeles State Historic Park and later expressed her appreciation to the crowd.

“Thank you @lapride.” Carey tweeted. “You were amazing!! I love you so much!!”

Carey’s concert capped a day that also included performances from King Princess, Violet Chachki, Gottmik, Sasha Colby, Jenevieve, Vincint, Mad Tsai and Minke.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of LA Pride 2023,” Carey said prior to performing. “I am happy to be back in person celebrating with the LGBTQIA+ community here in Southern California and throughout all of the lands. Let’s come together to celebrate love, inclusion and Pride.”

Pride in the Park began June 9 with concert headliner Megan The Stallion and performances throughout the day and evening including Fletcher, Dorian Electra, Symone, Gigi Goode, The Scarlet Opera and G-Flip.

Gerald Garth, board president of LA Pride, characterized the two headliners as ideal for LA Pride.

“Mariah Carey and Megan Thee Stallion are the perfect artists to headline LA Pride in the Park this year as we expand to two days,” he said in a statement when the performances were announced. “These empowering and iconic women are sure to take the stage by storm to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and will undoubtedly make this year’s LA Pride in the Park an unforgettable experience.”

The festival also included dozens of local vendors and LGBTQ+ exhibitors, bars, merchandise sales, food, an Erotic City for “the leather community” and an area for “the sober community.”

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