San Diego Celebrates LGBT Pride

Thousands of people will visit Hillcrest this weekend

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No, it’s not just your imagination that hundreds of rainbow-colored flags are being flown throughout San Diego. Starting on Friday, July 20 Hillcrest will host its annual Lesbian Gay Transgender Bisexual Pride Festival.

This year is especially monumental for San Diego is the first city in the country to honor gay activist Harvey Milk with a street bearing his name.

There are plenty of events throughout the weekend, including concerts, a massive parade and parties. Here’s a few happenings throughout the weekend that are sure to be colorful and celebratory.

Friday, July 20

  • Local community leaders will be honored with the Spirit of Stonewall Awards for making positive impact on San Diego's LGBT community. And to top it off, the new rainbow flag will be raised at the Hillcrest pride pole monument. The rally will be held at 6 p.m.  between Harvey Milk Street and University Avenue and is free to the public.
  • The Pride of Hillcrest Block Party is the first time the local business association is throwing a street festivals-style party. A rainbow ferris wheel will light up the night sky near the dance floor, and Neon Hitch will provide the musical beats. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the intersection of University Avenue and Normal Street. Ticket prices begin at $15.

Saturday, July 21

  • Wake up early and find a spot for the San Diego LGBT Pride Parade, the third largest pride event in the country. Starting at 11 a.m., decorative floats will travel down Normal Street, University Avenue and 6th Avenue. Spectators will be able to enjoy a celebrity appearance by Sandra Bernhard, in addition to the festive costumes worn by parade participants. Roughly 200,000 people are expected to watch the event.
  • Once the parade is over, head over to Balboa Park for the LGBT Pride Festival. Dozens of exhibitors and vendors will have food, artwork and entertainment. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Sunday, July 22

  • The LGBT Pride Festival continues on Sunday at Balboa Park, where Natasha Bedingfield will headline the main stage at 7:30 p.m. Families can bring their kids to the Children’s Garden or the Youth Zone, while the 21 and older crowd can visit the two beer gardens. Ticket prices start at $20.

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