A MOMENT FOR PRIDE
If ever there was a time for the LGBT community and their allies to celebrate big-time, this would be it. Love won.
"The supreme court ruling has certainly created a festive atmosphere around here," says Stephen Whitburn, executive director of San Diego LGBT Pride, the nonprofit behind the upcoming San Diego Pride festivities. "I think a lot of people have a lot of reasons to celebrate at Pride this year, and there does seem to be even more energy around it than there has been in the past."
San Diego Pride weekend is happening from Friday, July 17, through Sunday, July 19, and includes a smorgasbord of events centered in Hillcrest. The Spirit of Stonewall Rally happens at 6 p.m. Friday at Marston Point (intersection of Balboa Drive and Eighth Avenue), the Pride parade kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday at University Avenue at Normal Street, and the music and art festival takes over Balboa Park near Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Whitburn says he's particularly excited about the music festival this year. Instead of featuring old-school '80s and '90s performers as it has in the past, it's been amped up to include a lineup of current pop stars like Ruby Rose (from Orange is the New Black), Mary Lambert, Emma Hewitt, Big Freedia and Carmen Electra, who'll be the MC. There'll be five stages of music, but the festival expands well beyond just sound and includes a children's zone, the Art of Pride outdoor exhibition, HIV testing, a leather realm, beer garden and more.
"We really like to emphasize that Pride is for everyone," Whitburn says. "It's for the LGBT community and also the allies who've helped to accomplish all these recent advancements. There's definitely a good reason to celebrate, but we have to remember that there's still more work that needs to be done."
This year's free Sun and Sea Festival starts at 9 a.m. Friday, July 17, with a group swim near Pier Plaza (10 Evergreen Ave.) in Imperial Beach followed by open viewing of the sandcastle exhibition from noon to dusk. But the real fun starts Saturday, July 18. After an early pancake breakfast, more sculptors will take to the sand from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and spectators can ooh and aah as they quickly transform mounds of sand into works of art. There'll also be a parade, music, entertainment and plenty of children's activities in Dune Park, including a kid's sandcastle competition and performances by Fern Street Circus. For foodies, there's a farmers market and international food fair along Seacoast Drive near the Dempsey Holder Safety Center.
Considering the scandal and mishandling of public funds that nearly derailed it, the year's ongoing celebrations for the Balboa Park Centennial have been pretty cool. And that celebration is making its way out of the park and into the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. At the museum's upcoming TNT: Reconsider, the spotlight will be on Anya Gallaccio's site-specific installation, Byron Kim's shout-out to the Panama-California Exposition and Jock Reynolds and Suzanne Helmuth's history-inspired multimedia installation. There'll also be a live musical performance by Chicano Batman, plus cocktails and eats from the Green Truck and a 3D-printing demo led by Fab Lab San Diego. TNT: Reconsider happens from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 16, at MCASD downtown (1100 Kettner Blvd.). Admission is free for members, $8 for students/seniors and $10 for nonmembers.
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