First-Ever Month-Long Pride Celebration Unites Community, Families and LGBTQ+ Supporters of All Ages
By Staff Writer
Downtown Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Place and the City of Santa Monica, have unveiled a calendar of fun, family-friendly events and experiences for the first-ever, SaMo PRIDE.
More than 20 events throughout the month of June will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, individuality, inclusivity and love in every color, anchored by a nightly display of lights spanning the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place, the historic Santa Monica Pier Bridge and City Hall.
“The inaugural SaMo PRIDE celebration will bring our community value of inclusion to life through a lineup of opportunities for all ages,” said Mayor Gleam Davis. “We look forward to having the community and our neighbors come out to help inaugurate what we hope becomes a new annual tradition in Santa Monica.”
With a focus on family-friendly and inclusive art, events and community connection, Santa Monica city partners are gearing up for a full month of activities to generate awareness and acceptance and celebrate our diversity.
“We launched SaMo PRIDE with a handful of planned signature events, in hopes that there would be an outpouring of support from the community,” said Mackenzie Carter, director of marketing and communication, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. “We’ve seen a tremendously positive response and are thrilled to offer a full lineup of fun, family-friendly events in locations all across Santa Monica.”
Signature SaMo PRIDE events and experiences during the month of June include:
Miles of Pride
June 1 – June 30 from Sundown to Sunrise
Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place and Santa Monica Pier
The world-famous Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place and the iconic Santa Monica Pier will be lit up with all the colors of the rainbow throughout the month of June with the “Miles of Pride” light installation spanning miles of city streets.
Colors of Progress
June 1 – June 30
Third Street Promenade
“Colors of Progress” is an art installation by artist Phil America, created in partnership with Tre Borden/Co and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., that will present a visual oral history of the LGBTQ+ movement and will be displayed at Pride festivals around the U.S. When fully installed, hundreds of colored, hand-painted flags with quotes from members of the LGBTQ+ community about their histories, futures, loves, hopes and dreams will hang above the Third Street Promenade. The art installation will culminate at the WorldPride | Stonewall 50 celebration in New York. The flags are inspired by the protest signs from the historic Stonewall Riots which were used to spread a powerful, important message that changed the course of history. Fifty years ago, the Stonewall Riots took place in the West Village in New York City. This act of retaliation and demand for respect sparked the LGBT movement, leading to increased equality around the world.
Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Santa Monica Pier Deck
Smorgasburg is “The Woodstock of Eating” and one of the largest open-air food markets in the country. With more than 90 food and shopping vendors, a beer garden, live DJs and more, Smorgasburg welcomes thousands of guests per week year-round. Smorgasburg returns to the Pier, along with special programming, decor and treats, for the SaMo PRIDE kick-off.
Kids Club with Twinkle Time
Wednesday, June 5 at 11 a.m.
Santa Monica Place, Third Level Dining Deck
June Kids Club will feature interactive activities and a performance by award-winning kindie music performer, Twinkle Time, who will sing her hit song, “It’s Ok to be Me.” This song is all about acceptance and inclusivity, encouraging kids to accept every person, color, and race.
Frank DeCaro and Pandora Boxx present Drag!
Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m.
MLK Jr Auditorium, Main Library 6
Author Frank DeCaro, in conversation with special guest Pandora Boxx, celebrates Pride with the release of his new book, “Drag! Combing Through the Big Wigs of Show Business,” an irreverent look at the history of drag queens, and their impact on pop culture and politics. A book sale and signing will follow.
Live Music under “Lanterns of Love”
Thursdays, June 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 3 – 6 p.m.
Santa Monica Place, Center Plaza
Santa Monica Place presents free live music every Thursday evening in June under “Lanterns of Love;” an overhead colored lantern installation that spans across Center Plaza in celebration of SaMo Pride. Commemorative Pride bandanas will be given away to guests in Center Plaza. For the full list of musical performances visit https://www.santamonicaplace.com/Events.
House Aquatic Happy Hour Pop-ups
Fridays & Saturdays, June 14, 15, 28 and 29 from 8 p.m. – Midnight
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
In celebration of Santa Monica’s first ever Pride, the Santa Monica Pier is delighted to introduce Happy Hour Agency’s House Aquatic, a colorful mash-up inspired by the childlike fantasy of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and the grandiose decadence of Ball culture. Guests are invited to an immersive, sensory experience with specialty themed cocktails and performances.
West Coast Rising: Gay Liberation In the Golden State
Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m. MLK Jr Auditorium, Main Library
601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Celebrate Pride with a special screening of six short documentary films exploring the early days of the Gay Liberation movement in Southern California. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Gregorio Davila, as well as a preview of his upcoming feature length documentary “L.A. A Queer History.”
Pride on the Promenade Festival
Saturday, June 15 from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Third Street Promenade
Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with live theatre and musical performances, a DJ dance party, youth art project, games, Instagrammable moments, LGBTQ+ resource center, food, drinks and a signature SaMo PRIDE moment.
Cinema on the Street: “Love, Simon”
Friday, June 28 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
North end of Third Street Promenade near Wilshire Blvd.
Enjoy a special outdoor screening of the award-winning film, “Love, Simon,” based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli. The teen comedy drama follows 17-year-old Simon Spier as he navigates coming out to his friends and family while falling in love with an anonymous classmate he met online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Rated PG-13.
For more information, sign up for the SaMo PRIDE newsletter and view of full calendar of events at https://www.smpride.com/.