Pride Parade Held in West Hollywood

WEST HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - The 2018 LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood returned to its customary format of celebrating the LGBTQ community today after a one-year switch to what was dubbed a ``Resist March'' to the Trump Administration.

A crowd estimated at about 150,000 was on hand for the 11 a.m. parade and ensuing events.

The parade route started at Crescent Heights Boulevard and will continue west along Santa Monica Boulevard to Robertson Boulevard. Admission was free.

An assortment of floats conveyed the theme of the festival #JUSTBE, according to Shayne Thomas, marketing and communications lead and a board member of Christopher Street West, the nonprofit organization that produces the festival and parade.

``#JUSTBE is a deeply personal invitation for self-expression that, we hope, will empower members of the LGBTQ+ community -- as well as our very important straight allies -- to embrace, embody and express what pride truly means to them in the rawest, most authentic ways possible,'' Thomas said.

Parade entries featured a multi-color ``Lifesaver'' bus from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation intended to promote condom use to prevent HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and to curb other sexually transmitted diseases.

The grand marshal was Michaela Ivri Mendelsohn, a transgender activist and CEO of Pollo West Group, one of the largest franchises for the El Pollo Loco restaurant chain.

The parade had its traditional moment of silence at noon ``to remember those who are no longer with us, or cannot be here today, to celebrate those who fought for pride and the freedoms we now enjoy and to think of those who cannot celebrate pride and remain oppressed,'' organizers said in a joint statement.

The parade was first held in 1970 in Hollywood, where it stayed until 1979, when it moved to West Hollywood.

Photo: Getty Images

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