LOS ANGELES - Three days of LA Pride activities began Friday with the opening of the LA Pride in the Park festival, featuring exhibits, food and concerts headlined by Megan Thee Stallion and Mariah Carey.
The festival is being held Friday and Saturday at Los Angeles State Historic Park, just north of Chinatown between the Arroyo Seco (110) Parkway and the Los Angeles River. In addition to music, the festival will include 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."
"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," Gerald Garth, board president of LA Pride, 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."
Megan Thee Stallion was the headliner Friday night, with other performers throughout the day and evening including Fletcher, Dorian Electra, Symone, Gigi Goode, The Scarlet Opera and G-Flip.
Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete, gained fame in part through freestyling videos shared widely on Instagram. Her song "Savage" went viral on TikTok and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 2020, while her provocative collaboration with Cardi B on "WAP" garnered her more attention.
"I can't wait to headline LA Pride in the Park and celebrate the phenomenal LGBTQIA+ community," she said in a statement. "This incredible event advocates for diversity, inclusivity and equality, so I'm honored to perform and have a blast with all of the Hotties in attendance."
Carey will headline Saturday, capping a day that will include performances from King Princess, Violet Chachki, Gottmik, Sasha Colby, Jenevieve, Vincint, Mad Tsai and Minke.
Carey is one of the best-selling pop artists of all time, and is noted for her extraordinary vocal range and hits such as "Emotions," "Hero" and "All I Want for Christmas Is You."
"I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of LA Pride 2023," Carey said. "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."
General and VIP single-day ($69) and weekend tickets are available at lapride.org, priced from $69 to $549.
The weekend festivities will culminate Sunday, when the LA Pride Parade makes its way through Hollywood, stepping off at 11 a.m. at Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue, then moving north on Highland, east on Hollywood Boulevard and south on Cahuenga to Sunset.
Comedian Margaret Cho will serve as the "Icon Grand Marshal" of the parade, honoring her years of anti-racism, 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 at age 67 in October when he suffered a heart attack while driving in Hollywood, will serve as 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 will ride 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 fights." 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 will be among those joining the ACLU contingent in the parade.
Sunday's parade will be followed at noon by festivities at LA Pride Village along Hollywood Boulevard between Vine and Gower streets. The event will include 90 vendors, two stages of live entertainment, food, drinks and more.
The village will stay open until 8 p.m.