LA County recognizes Ginger Rogers Beach during Pride Month celebrations

A stretch of beach in the Pacific Palisades will be at the center of a special ceremony to celebrate Pride Month. 

Two lifeguard towers located on what became known as Ginger Rogers Beach, a traditional coastal haven for the LGBTQ+ community, will be painted the colors of the Progress Pride Flag under a motion approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

"It’s incredibly important that people know the legacy and activism in the community that has happened right here on this beach," said LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath. 

Towers 17 and 18 are located on Ginger Rogers Beach, which is part of Will Rogers State Beach, north of the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. 

According to Supervisor Horvath’s office, the stretch of beach became a popular destination for gay men as far back as the 1940s, and was soon dubbed Ginger Rogers Beach in honor of the screen legend.

Ginger Rogers was an American actress, dancer and singer during what is considered the Golden Age of Hollywood.  She performed in the 1930s in musical films alongside Fred Astaire before winning an Academy Award in 1941 for best Actress for her starring role in Kitty Foyle.  

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The location named after the star evolved into a focal point of political activism, ranging from fundraisers for AIDS victims to petition drives opposing the Vietnam War.

Under the motion approved by the board in May, the two lifeguard towers will be painted in the Progress Pride Flag colors and formally unveiled on June 17 as part of Pride Month celebrations.  

"It’s going to be a wonderful celebration on that day to welcome the community and engage people in participation. The Lifeguard towers will be a visible marker for everyone of the important history right here on the beach," said Supervisor Horvath. 

The painted lifeguard towers will be accompanied by educational signs that will outline the history of the beach.