PERSHING SQUARE — The third annual DTLA Proud Festival took place at Pershing Square this weekend.
Organizers projected attendance would exceed last year’s 9,000 visitors.
Friday night was 18 and over, but Saturday and Sunday were 21 and over.
All three days featured live music, community booths, food trucks, live art installations, and interactive exhibits.
Fruitcake Pop-up partnered with the festival to showcase more than 20 queer artists and small business owners, including The Pleasure Chest, Soft Daddy Leather, Folklore Salon, Starrfucker Mag, and Lag Vintage.
On Saturday and Sunday, Summertramp turned part of Pershing Square into a 20,ooo square foot water park with pink astro turf. DJs Casey Alva, Josh Peace, Mateo Segade, and Derek Monteiro worked the decks.
The location for DTLA Proud is fabulous because from the 1920s to the 1960s, Pershing Square was the center of “The Run,” a large collection of gay friendly cafes, bars, and cruising areas along the Fifth Street corridor, stretching from the Los Angeles Central Library to Los Angeles Street. The Fifth Street corridor was so populated with gay establishments, that during World War II, the U.S. Army and Navy distributed a list of more than 30 known queer establishments along Fifth and Main streets where service members were forbidden to visit.
In the past few years, downtown Los Angeles has turned into a gayborhood. The area also is home to three gay bars: Precinct, Redline and the New Jalisco Bar.
A fourth bar, Bar Mattachine, closed last week.