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How and Where to Celebrate Pride in Orange County

If you are interested in celebrating Pride in Orange County this year, our community has festivals, Angels games, pub crawls, pool parties and more.

Guests attend the OC Pride Festival and Parade, an event that celebrates and empowers the LGBTQ+ community in Orange County through performances, workshops and more. Photo courtesy of OC Pride/Rebecca Thacher
 

In June, Pride Month takes place to recognize the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community. With the month come celebrations of equality, diversity and plenty of ways to support the LGBTQ+ community in Orange County. Activities ranging from sports to wellness will take place, each with the goal of promoting messages of equity and acceptance. 


Recently, the county has seen some efforts that conflict with this messaging, such as Ballot Measure B in Huntington Beach which was passed by voters earlier this year prohibiting the rainbow Pride flag (and any nonapproved government flag) from being displayed by the city on city property in Huntington Beach.


Last year, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to ban the rainbow Pride flag from flying on all County of Orange properties including public parks, although the supervisors did recognize June as Pride Month a mere one week later.


And in various O.C. communities, politicians and school boards have considered restricting access to books on LGBTQ topics in area schools and city libraries. 

 

But local organizations dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the county are banding together to make sure Pride is fully seen. 


“Inclusivity comes through visibility,” said OC Pride board vice president Manny Muro. “We want to create a space for that, so every member of the LGBTQ+ community can celebrate their authentic selves without fear. Community support is vital to that mission, whether it’s through attending events, volunteering or donating.” 


Here are some local events taking place during Pride Month:


May 31: RAINBOW FLAG FESTOONING AND SUMMER OF PRIDE CELEBRATION

To kick off Pride Month, Laguna Beach Pride 365 will hold the Rainbow Flag Festooning of Laguna Beach from 1-4 p.m. May 31 at the Promenade on Forest Avenue. Guests who RSVP can join the nonprofit in distributing rainbow flags around the city. 


Afterward, guests can join the Summer of Pride Celebration, including light food and drink, DJ music and door prizes, from 4-7 p.m. at the Susi Q event space in Laguna Beach.  


During Pride Month last year, Laguna Beach installed a rainbow-colored Pride lifeguard tower, the first in Orange County. Laguna Beach Pride 365 first advocated for the tower and residents made donations to support the installation. 


When: 1-7 p.m. on May 31

Where: Forest Avenue and the Susi Q, Laguna Beach 

Cost: Suggested $10 donation

More Info: lagunabeachpride.org  


Now through June 22: Mapping the Gay Guides

Anaheim's MUZEO brings to life a unique chapter in the struggle for LGBTQ+ acceptance in American culture, exhibiting the travel guides passed around in the gay community in the mid-20th century logging local businesses friendly to them. 


When: Now through June 22

Where: Muzeo, 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim

Cost: $7-$10

More Info: muzeo.org


June 1: Be You: Pride Fest Fullerton

The Fullerton Museum Center will hold its 3rd Annual Pride Fest Fullerton for attendees to enjoy a variety of activities on June 1. The day will begin with the Pride Bike Parade led by the Fullerton Loves where riders can meet at 12:45 p.m. in the southwest corner of the Walgreens parking lot on Wilshire Avenue in Fullerton. The bike parade, which welcomes decorated bikes and also golf carts, will start at 1:30 p.m. 


The event, which will be emceed by Parade grand marshal Kay Sedia, will feature a free photo booth, a diverse set of vendors, food trucks, a beer garden sponsored by Bootleggers Brewery and Kyla Hard Kombucha, and performances by Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus: Men Alive, singer-songwriter Jennifer Corday and crew, and others. 


When: 1:30 p.m. Bike parade begins. 2-7 p.m. Festival begins, June 1

Where: Fullerton Museum Center, 301 N. Pomona Ave., Fullerton

Cost: Free



June 1: QUEER PROM: A QUEER REVIVAL!

Organized by OC LGBTQ+ CommUNITY Collective, this is a 21+ event at Lido in Anaheim. Along with dancing, the evening will include speakers and drag.


When: 6 p.m. Doors open

Where: Lido, 1363 S. Lewis St., Anaheim

Cost: Free

More Info: eventbrite.com



Guests attend the OC Pride Festival and Parade in 2023, an event that celebrates and empowers the LGBTQ+ community in Orange County through performances, workshops and more. Photos courtesy of OC Pride, left photo by April Viehmann, right photo by Isac Acosta.


OC Pride - Hosting Events All Month Long


OC Pride – a nonprofit LGBTQIA+ organization dedicated to funding community projects, hosting events and raising awareness – will deliver a variety of events throughout Pride Month, starting with several back-to-back programs. 


To kick off the month, OC Pride will partner with Orange County Soccer Club to host a Pride Night celebration of unity and soccer match on June 1 at the Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine. A portion of ticket proceeds will go to OC Pride. 


Following the match, OC Pride will present the “Strike a Pose: Stretch & Sound Bath” event on June 2 at Avanti Dance Company in Costa Mesa. Guests can reserve a spot for free to this yoga and sound bath session. 


OC Pride collaborates with many local organizations to support Pride events, such as Pride Night with the Angels on June 3 at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. 


For tickets and to stay updated on all events happening during Pride Month, OC Pride recommends following its Eventbrite and Instagram page for more information and event postings throughout June.  


OC Pride’s mission of empowering Orange County’s LGBTQIA+ community through education, celebration and activism extends beyond June with its largest event, the OC Pride Festival and Parade, being held on Oct. 5 at the OC Fair & Event Center. In October, also known as LGBT History Month, the event will feature live music, drag performances, art, workshops and more.


For more information, visit: prideoc.com 



Pride Night-themed hats will be distributed during Pride Night at Angel Stadium.
June 3: Angels Pride Night 

Pride Night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim will welcome guests for pre-game festivities and the handing out of special Pride Night-themed Angels hats for ticket holders in the Gate 5 Courtyard on June 3. To open the game for the Angels versus the San Diego Padres, the Angels will commemorate Pride Night by welcoming a drag queen to deliver the game ball to the mound.   


Proceeds from Pride Night ticket purchases will benefit OC Pride.


When: Game starts at 6:38 p.m. June 3

Where: Gate 5 Courtyard of Angel Stadium, 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim

Cost: $30-$50

More Info: angels.com/pride 



June 4-5: PRIDE LIVE: PRIDE ANTHEMS 

Pride Anthems on June 4-5 at 7:30 p.m. takes place at Samueli Theater with a journey through the past 50 years of pride anthems — from Donna Summer and Queen to George Michael, Erasure, Madonna, Lady Gaga and more — commemorating the legacy of the Stonewall Riots. The show stars Natalie Joy Johnson, Kevin Smith Kirkwood and Jon-Michael Reese with musical director Brian J. Nash and is for all ages. Pride Anthems is produced in partnership with Pride Live, with part of the proceeds benefitting Pride Live and the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center, opening June 2024 in New York.


When: 7:30 p.m. June 4-5

Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa

Cost: Tickets starting at $69

More Info: scfta.org



June 6: Pride at the Farmers Market, Anaheim

The Downtown Anaheim Farmers Market kicks off pride month with a celebration of LGBTQ+ creators!


When: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. June 6

Where: 435 W. Center Street Promenade, Anaheim

Cost: Free to attend; 2 hours free in parking structure 4 (Lehman & Clementine) with ticket and validation



June 8: Mission Viejo Pride 

Mission Viejo Pride is a free community event hosted by Saddleback College’s Rainbow Collective and the Mission Viejo Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. The event is held in partnership with the Wellness and Prevention Center, a nonprofit that provides mental health services in schools and educates the community on issues related to mental health and addiction. 


This family-friendly event will feature live entertainment, food trucks, vendors, activities and a showcase for educational and family resources. 


When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 8

Where: World Cup Fields behind the Potocki Center for Arts, 27301 La Paz Road, Mission Viejo

Cost: Free 



June 9: Pop Divas pride Pool Party 

Top of the V is hosting a Pride pool party. This restaurant is located on the 12th floor of The Viv Hotel Anaheim, where you can lounge by the rooftop pool or sit by the firepits and outdoor VIP lounges. This event also includes music, food and drinks, and a Swiftie-inspired friendship bracelet making station.


When: Noon - 6 p.m. June 9

Where: Top of the V, 1601 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim

Cost: $35

More Info: eventbrite.com



June 15: Pride Day at the Farmer's Market, Orange

This farmer's market includes farmers, artisans, free face painting, tie-dye crafts and more.


When: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. June 15

Where: 303 W. Palm Ave., Orange

Cost: Free to attend; 2 Hours Free in Parking Structure 4 (Lehman & Clementine) with ticket and validation



June 22: Newport Beach Official Pride Bar Crawl

Guests can attend the Official Pride Bar Crawl in Newport Beach, where each stop has been carefully selected to offer experiences such as specialty pride-themed drinks to live entertainment. Members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community are welcome to join the thousands of crawlers in festive attire and/or with rainbow flags as they journey through more than four different venues. A bar crawl ticket will include free entry into the bars, low-priced drink specials, select food specials, a photographer and videographer present to capture moments from the crawl and more. 


When: 4-11 p.m. June 22

Where: Baja Sharkeez, 114 McFadden Place, Newport Beach and other venues

Cost: Free 

More Info: eventbrite.com



June 23: ‘Motion Beyond Pride’ with The LGBTQ Center OC

Join The LGBTQ Center OC for a film screening of “Lives Beyond Motion” at the Frida Cinema, followed by a Q&A with filmmakers and cast members moderated by former artistic director of The Wooden Floor arts-for-youth nonprofit, Melanie Ríos Glaser. The “Lives Beyond Motion” documentary by filmmaker Keith Glassman explores the lives of an intergenerational and racially diverse group of contemporary male dancers. 


The Q&A will be followed by a resource fair, workshops, HIV testing and additional panel discussions. The event will also include live music, a drag show and an open mic attendees can sign up for in advance. 


Frida Cinema doors will open for the event at 1 p.m. and the screening will begin at 2:30 p.m. 


When: 1 p.m. June 23

Where: Frida Cinema, 305 E. 4th St. #100, Santa Ana

Cost: Free screening


Prom attendees at Plaza Prom 2023. Photo courtesy of Segerstrom Center for the Arts
June 28: Plaza Prom: Pride!

Plaza Prom: Pride! lets you get your boogie on with dancing, photo ops, drag performances and a DIY your own corsage or boutonniere at the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza.


When: 7 p.m. June 28

Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Argyros Plaza, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa

Cost: Tickets starting at $20

More Info: scfta.org



 

Contributing writer Jessica Peralta and managing editor Heide Janssen contributed to this story.


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