Move LA Pride Festival to Santa Monica Boulevard

"The Pride Parade has usually reflected where our community was at that moment in time," says West Hollywood Councilmember John Duran.

BY TROY MASTERS  |  Christopher Street West faces too many logistical nightmares in producing the three day Festival portion of LA Pride, issues that are jeopardizing the event and rankling critics, music festival or not.

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Organizers are tasked with cramming a mega event (for which it charges) into an ever shrinking micro space.

It’s time end the headache. An obvious model already exists and West Hollywood needs to adopt it. It’s called Halloween.  

Pride should become a free and open event funded by the City of West Hollywood entirely and it should be modeled in some respects after Halloween, particularly the Festival portion.

Forget about the ever changing available landscape of West Hollywood Park. It’s out of commission for at least 3 years. Forget about fashioning slap-dash solutions that please no one. Forget about stretching the footprint of the festival from Santa Monica Boulevard to Melrose. Forget about squeezing hundreds of thousands of people into a 40 foot wide coral.

Forget about crafting solutions based on the need to contain people for the purpose of making money.

Open it up. Make it free and accessible.

Closing Santa Monica Boulevard from La Cienega to San Vicente or Robertson gives Festival planners several areas for large stages, multiple activities areas and well designed vendor spaces with ample room for food and special recreation activities.  It allows hundreds of thousands of people the ability to roam freely and for at least one major star studded event to happen with ease.

Since this year’s event will likely conclude on Sunday with a super-sized march, the Festival could be limited to 2 days in scope and the event on the final day could be devoted to a rally as marchers end up at San Vicente.

It’s time to put an end to the madness. Open it up.

This year’s parade will be a protest parade and it will likely draw the largest crowd the City has ever seen. Change is required.

Pride produces a greater amount of revenue for the City of West Hollywood than any other event.  The City can afford to devote its full attention to this event, especially this year. 

Providing it with an optimal presence and a larger footprint than ever will produce a world class and highly profitable event.

Typical street closures for the Halloween parade are as follows:

Main Closures:

  • San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from 12:00 a.m. midnight on days of event.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between North Doheny Drive and La Cienega from 12:00 p.m. on days of events.

Additional Closures:

  • All alleyways between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue
  • Robertson Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue
  • Almont Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue
  • La Peer Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue
  • San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Cynthia Street
  • La Cienega Boulevard between Holloway Drive and Melrose Avenue
  • Sunset Boulevard eastbound/westbound turn lanes onto southbound La Cienega Boulevard

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