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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

San Pedro Pride brings fourth annual festival to the city

Four years after its founding, the purpose of the San Pedro Pride celebration was to gather with supporters to raise the rainbow flag outside the Los Angeles Maritime Museum on Harbor Boulevard for greater visibility on Saturday, June 18.

Among those who raised the flag were Ryan Blaney of the Bridge Cities Alliance and Nathan Mackinish, principal of Cabrillo Elementary School in San Pedro.

The participants then marched through the city of San Pedro. There, the Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles performed. The group is the first LGBTQ mariachi band, according to the organizers. Organizers said the band also featured Natalia Melendez, the first transgender woman in the history of mariachi music.

The festival, in its fourth year, was launched by the non-profit Bridge Cities Alliance with a waterfront event aboard the USS Iowa. Some 5,000 people attended, many of whom were from neighboring Long Beach, a city that has been a leader in local pride events.

San Pedro High School teacher David Crowley, one of the organizers, said that unlike other L.A. area events with big budgets and Hollywood stars, the San Pedro gathering has always been about family and “small town” pride. Other organizers included Mona Sutton, Leslie Jones, Blaney, Mackinish, Christopher Mitchell, Belina Bentledge and JJ Turner McMullen.

Saturday’s speakers were to include US Representative Nanette Diaz Barragan, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscano, State Sen. Steve Bradford, and Assembly Members Mike Gipson and Al Muratsuchi.

The after party took place at La Boca Felice, organized by the Pride Club of San Pedro High School.

Music, food trucks and a children’s craft area were among other offerings. Jewels of Long Beach hosted a drag show. DJ Rich Girl and local DJ Dangerous provided the music and dance.

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