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Santa Monica Pride to celebrate LGBTQ community in June

Santa Monica Pride

Santa Monica Pride, the city’s first celebration of the LGBTQ community, will include a “Miles of Pride” lighting installation. It will feature tens of thousands of LED lights strung along the Promenade, through Santa Monica Place, and down the Pier ramp, providing a rainbow of colors. Photo: Downtown Santa Monica.

SANTA MONICA — For the first time ever, Santa Monica will celebrate the LGBTQ community in June with a month of programming and events, including a Pride festival.

SaMo Pride is a collaboration between Downtown Santa Monica, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Place, and the City of Santa Monica.

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Nationally, June is recognized as LGBT Pride Month. LA Pride hosted the nation’s first, permitted Pride Parade on June 28, 1970.

“There have always been smaller events hosted by community groups and businesses,” said Kevin Herrera, spokesman with Downtown Santa Monica. “This year there seemed to be a swelling of support for Santa Monica to recognize PRIDE on a grander scale. Various groups coalesced, and it just seemed like the right time to host a citywide celebration.

“We take pride in being a safe and welcoming place where people of all backgrounds can thrive,” Herrera said. “And the LGBTQIA community is very much part of that.”

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The celebration will include a “Miles of Pride” lighting installation. It will feature tens of thousands of LED lights strung along the Promenade, through Santa Monica Place, and down the Pier ramp, providing a rainbow of colors.

Numerous events, including educational forums, kids’ arts and crafts, and exercise classes, will be scheduled throughout June at various locations, such as the Santa Monica Pier deck, Third Street Promenade, and the Main Library.

A complete schedule will be posted at smpride.com.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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