UPDATE: CSW board member Craig Bowers has informed WEHOville that the Pride parade and festival will not move to Melrose Avenue.
Bowers said the parade will remain on Santa Monica Boulevard.
“We are not shifting the Festival to Melrose Ave.,” Bowers said in an email. “More precisely we have asked to use the space at the intersection of Melrose and San Vicente for the Festival.
“There will be NO Festival programming SOUTH of Melrose Ave. There will be NO Festival entrance at San Vicente and Melrose Ave. Pedestrian access on BOTH sides of Melrose Ave. will remain intact during the Festival weekend.”
A proposal to shift the annual L.A. Pride parade and festival to Melrose Avenue is getting opposition from residents of West Hollywood West, the neighborhood that will be adjacent to the proposed route.
In a post on Facebook, the West Hollywood West Residents Association is asking its members to appear at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to speak out against the move.
“The event’s producer is proposing moving the Pride event down to Melrose Ave from Huntley to Robertson and south on San Vicente to Rosewood,” the WHWRA post says. “The area along Melrose Ave may include music festival stages. The West Hollywood West Residents Association is opposed to this, or any other festival, being positioned in such close proximity to our residential neighborhood.
“The yearly suspension of our permit parking for three days and nights during this event is already a parking burden placed on our neighborhood. The addition of a Melrose Ave closure for this festival will bring us further negative impacts such as noise, cut-through traffic and greatly impact resident’s ability to access their homes on both sides of West Hollywood West.”
According to a report from the city’s events planners, the shift of the annual event from Santa Monica Boulevard to Melrose Avenue would allow Christopher Street West (CSW), the non-profit that produces the annual event, to continue offering three major music stages during the Pride festival. The Pride event in the past has located the music stages in West Hollywood Park, much of which will be closed during its multi-million dollar redevelopment. The report says that CSW is negotiating with the Pacific Design Center to use part of its lot.
Visitors to this year’s Sunday parade may see other substantial changes. There is a campaign underway to turn the parade, which typically features floats with go go boys and music as well as those sponsored by businesses and LGBT organizations, into a march and rally protesting feared erosion of LGBT rights since the election of Donald Trump. That campaign is being organized by Brian Pendleton, who has joined the CSW board of directors.
According to the report, CSW also is reducing the festival to two days — Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11. In the past the event has begun on Friday night. However the annual transgender event and Sizzle, the sober event, will recur on Friday. The city is proposing that the annual Dyke March begin at Sal Guariello Veterans Memorial at Santa Monica and Holloway.
The City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica.