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LA Pride Festival Parade on June 14, 2009, in West Hollywood, California.
Don't get caught in a rainbow of traffic this weekend. L.A.'s gay pride festival is this weekend, and on Sunday, June 10 at 11 a.m., the LGBT community and their allies will parade down Santa Monica Boulevard with towering floats, colorful banners and flashy cars, celebrating the community's history, accomplishments and future.
Santa Monica Boulevard will be closed from Doheny Drive to Fairfax Avenue, starting at 6 a.m. Sunday morning. Officials will reopen the street once the parade ends, but festival organizers warn that closures may last until 4 p.m.
Thomas Nicholson, assistant media consultant with Christopher Street West, which presents the festival, says that L.A. Pride is the oldest LGBT parade in the world. According to Nicholson, it started a year after the Stonewall riots in 1970, a historic incident often marked as the inciting incident that started the gay rights movement.
"L.A. was the only city to get a permit and march," Nicholson said. "It's fascinating. It shows that for a city that is perpetually reinventing itself, we have a lot of history here, and a lot of civil rights history that is not recognized and appreciated."
On average, 400,000 spectators line Santa Monica Boulevard for the parade. Click on the map below (whether you'll be joining them or not) to read more about the street closures and parade route.
View LA PRIDE Parade 2012 in a larger map