LA Pride Parade set for Sunday in West Hollywood

LA Pride Festival - Parade

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LA Pride Festival Parade on June 14, 2009 in West Hollywood, California.

The 43rd L.A. Pride Parade, celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, will be held Sunday in West Hollywood, with organizers expecting more than 400,000 people to line the route along Santa Monica Boulevard.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Crescent Heights Boulevard, and continue west along Santa Monica Boulevard to Robertson Boulevard. The parade will prompt the closure of Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax Avenue to Doheny Drive; Crescent Heights Boulevard from Romaine Street to Fountain Avenue; and streets one block north and south of Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax Avenue to La Peer Drive from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

RELATED: Weekend Traffic: Obamajam, Clinton jam, CelebrateLA block party, LA Pride parade (MAP)

Instead of driving around the area, take the free City of West Hollywood City Line shuttle to travel along Santa Monica Boulevard from Plummer Park to La Peer Drive, near Pavilions. 

A moment of silence will be held at noon "to remember those who are no longer with us or cannot be here today, to celebrate those that fought for pride and the freedoms we now enjoy and to think of those who cannot celebrate pride and remain oppressed," organizers said.

Maria Menounos, a host of the syndicated entertainment news magazine "Extra," will be the grand marshal. According to organizers, Menounos was selected  "for her dedication to the LGBT community and her continuing efforts using her platform for equality."

"The LGBT Pride Parade represents something truly American," Menounos said. "It's a celebration of community, a celebration of uniqueness, diversity and progress and it's the celebration of a new United States where we do more than tolerate or accept our gay brothers and sisters, but embrace and celebrate them.''

The community grand marshal will be the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which trains activists and helps state and local organizations build campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT ballot measures and advance pro-LGBT legislation.

Christopher Street West, which organizes the parade, annually chooses an organization to be the community grand marshal. Rea Carey, the task force's executive director, and Russell Roybal, its deputy executive director or external relations, will lead its contingent marching in the parade.

Parking is available for $20 at the Kings Road Parking Structure, 8383 Santa Monica Blvd.; the Hancock Parking Structure, 901 Hancock Ave;  the La Jolla/Havenhurst Lot, 1043 La Jolla Ave.; La Peer Lot, 623 La Peer Drive; Orange Grove Lot, 1114 N. Orange Grove Ave.; Spaulding Lot, 7718 Santa Monica Blvd.; and Pacific Design Center at Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Blvd.

The parade has been held every year since 1970, except for 1973 when infighting over crude displays the previous two years left the organizers in disarray. The parade was held in Hollywood until 1979, when it moved to West Hollywood.

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