Hermosa Beach will show its pride with an extended Hermosa Pride Parade and Festival, the weekend of June 24 to 26.
Last year’s inaugural Pride event in June during LGBTQ Gay Pride Month featured a march to the new rainbow-painted lifeguard tower near the Hermosa Beach Pier.
Buoyed by community support, this year’s event has been expanded to three days and will feature a short-film screening, drag show, meets and live music at several venues and greats around the city.
“The response, love and support we have received since the first Hermosa Pride last year has been incredible,” said Randy Rainer, founder and owner of South Bay Social.
Rainer said the positive feedback has helped his team plan for this year’s activities.
Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce president Jessica Ekmando agreed.
“We are very proud of the community support for adding new elements to our celebration and extending it to the entire weekend so that families, individuals, businesses and visitors can enjoy the celebration,” Akamando said.
This year’s event will feature family-friendly activities, including drag story time, on June 25 from 12:30 to 1 p.m. at Practical Magic Apothecary on Hermosa Avenue.
Andrew Gawden and Bryce Tony are the owners of the business, which opened in 2009. Goudan said that because they are parents, they were asked to help organize family-friendly activities.
Gavdun said it is a testament to a strong community that Gaurav is only getting bigger and better in its second year.
“It’s really important not to hold back and keep moving forward that you know we’re here to stay, we’re not going to,” Gaudun said. “You can’t get rid of us. You can’t scare us. We are very fortunate to live in a community that embraces and embraces all diversity.”
Rainer said it’s surprising that after last year’s Pride, the community wanted a more family-friendly option so that direct affiliates could bring their children to events.
Last year, local teen Izzy Bakalao and family were inspired to paint the 13th Street Lifeguard Tower in rainbow glory after learning about Long Beach’s Pride Tower mysteriously burned down in March 2021. That Rainbow Tower was replaced a few months later in June.
Izzy’s father, Jose Bacalao, said he would volunteer at the Pride Festival, but recently he and Izzy, along with their friends, have been giving the Lifeguard Tower a facelift due to heavy use by lifeguards.
He and Izzy are sanding again to add friction so the lifeguard doesn’t slip. Izzy and a few local friends have retouched the tower’s paint to ensure it’s lively for this year’s Pride events.
Jose Bacalao said there was no tagging or sabotage on the tower. But there were also some hearts whose initials and names were engraved on the tower.
“It was reminiscent of that old style of expressing love,” Bacalao said. “We just cleaned it up so the tower is nice and fresh for Pride’s sake.”
Here is a list of Hermosa Pride events:
Friday, June 24Happy Hour: The Stanton on Hermosa Avenue is followed by a 6 p.m. Happy Hour screening of the short film, “Gender Outlaw.” This is the story of a local bodysurfing transgender athlete. Then, at 8 p.m., The Stanton features a drag show featuring Jezebel Patel, Paradise Lahore, Mahalia Nakita and May Day.
Redondo Beach’s Artesia Bar, the only LGBTQ+ bar in the South Bay, will host a party starting at 10 p.m. on Fridays.
Saturday, June 25: The day begins at 9 a.m. with breakfast and greetings at El Tarasco on Pier Avenue, and from there the parade continues to the Pride Tower at 11 a.m. Guest speakers are planned at the festival in the Lifeguard Tower.
Live music will take place at Fox & Farrow at 1 and 2:15 p.m. as well as Agave Azul on Saturdays at 3, 4 and 5 p.m.
Saturday’s events will also include a Sunset Vibes silent disco from 6 to 9 p.m. and Patrick Molloys will offer DJs and drinks from 9 p.m. The Sunset Vibes Silent Disco at Pride is the only ticketed event. Tickets can be found at eventbrite.com.
Sunday, June 26: Sunday events include a beach day by the Pride Lifeguard Tower and a drag brunch at Agave Azul at 1 p.m.
Rainer said that South Bay Social will sell Pride apparel at various locations during the weekend to help support its efforts to become a non-profit.
Free Pride Flags are available at the Hermosa Beach Chamber, Cultured Slice, Gum Tree, Curious or H2O Hermosa Hotel.
Visit the HermosaBeachpride Instagram page for more information.