The City of West Hollywood has scheduled its first independent Pride Month celebration for the weekend of June 26-27.
Last year, LA Pride organizers decided to move their parade and festival out of the city after four decades of hosting it here. This summer’s events will be the first produced solely by WeHo.
The upcoming, very scaled-back celebrations received a budget of $200,000 from City Council, a far cry from previous years when more than $2 million was allocated.
WeHo’s Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Genevieve Morrill presented a set of options to City Council as to how the city and Chamber might partner with one another to produce the events as the general public begins to emerge from a yearlong quarantine in which large gatherings have been strictly taboo.
So far, no live/in-person events have been scheduled for Pride, and the Chamber’s proposals ranged from strictly virtual programming to a 2-day curated “pop-up” outdoor environment where people would congregate in person.
Councilmember John D’Amico suggested WeHo residents would want the human contact they’ve been missing since the pandemic began last spring.
“As we get closer to June, we are going to see more and more people come out,” he said. “I think we need to be prepared for fairly robust crowds.”
Councilmember John Erickson leaned towards agreement with D’Amico, while Councilmembers Sepi Shyne and Lauren Meister voiced concerns over public health and safety, as well as with the proposed price tag of $200,000.
Ultimately, the motion was amended down to a budget of $110,000 and was passed unanimously by the council.
WeHo Pride planners will now begin work on scheduling and booking entertainment for the upcoming celebrations.