Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on West Hollywood Saturday for the 47th annual LA Pride Festival, featuring carnival rides, games, exhibits, food and musical acts continuing throughout the weekend.
Motorists may want to avoid the festival areas, as street closures and massive crowds will clog roadways and make driving close to impossible.
But it’ll be a different Pride Festival this year, as the outrageously decorated floats of the past for Sunday’s parade will mostly be gone, replaced by a “Resist March.”
While generally avoiding a direct reference to President Donald Trump, the “Resist March” likely sends a message of opposition to policies of the Trump Administration that may negatively impact the gay, lesbian and transgender communities.
While most of the action will be in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, officials at Los Angeles International Airport announced that the massive pylons along Century Boulevard leading along the entrance to the airport will be lighted this weekend in gay-friendly rainbow colors.
At Saturday’s festival, Chromeo and Aaron Carter will headline the musical entertainment, with Brandy earning top billing on Sunday.
The festival is billed as one of the nation’s largest celebrations of the LGBTQ community. A series of events were held over the past week leading up to the event, which officially began Friday night with the annual Dyke March on Santa Monica Boulevard.
This year’s festival has been reduced in size due to construction in West Hollywood, but organizers aren’t anticipating a major drop-off in attendance.
A major change in the annual event will be most noticeable on Sunday, when the annual Pride Parade will be replaced by what has been dubbed the #ResistMarch beginning in Hollywood. The event, which is expected to attract as many as 100,000 people, is scheduled to start with speakers and a rally at 9 a.m., but participants likely will begin gathering as early as 8 a.m. at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.
Organizers said the Resist event was inspired by the huge women’s marches that took place across the globe a day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration and will serve to advocate for human rights. After hearing from speakers, the marchers will move south on La Brea Avenue, west on Sunset Boulevard, south on Fairfax Avenue, then west on Santa Monica Boulevard, ending at the Pride Festival in West Hollywood.
Motorists should anticipate major street closures throughout the weekend, but particularly on Sunday to accommodate the parade.
San Vicente will remain closed between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard until 8 a.m. Monday for the festival.
According to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Hollywood Boulevard will be closed between Highland and La Brea avenues from 6 a.m. to noon Sunday. The following streets are expected to close at 9 a.m. until the march ends, but the closures could begin earlier depending on the event:
— La Brea between Hollywood and Sunset;
— Sunset between La Brea and Fairfax;
— Fairfax between Sunset and Santa Monica; and
— Santa Monica between Fairfax and into the city of West Hollywood.
Sunset is expected to be closed between Highland and La Brea for the event, as will westbound Franklin Avenue between Highland and La Brea.
—City News Service
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