Hermosa Beach will be showing off its pride with an expanded Hermosa Pride Parade and Festival, the weekend of June 24 to 26.

Last year the inaugural Pride event in June during LGBTQ Gay Pride Month featured a march to the newly rainbow painted lifeguard tower near the Hermosa Beach Pier.

Buoyed by community support, this year’s event has been expanded to three days and will feature a short-film screening, drag show, meet and greats around town and live music at several venues.

“The response, love, and support we have received since last year’s first Hermosa Pride has been unbelievable,” said Randy Renner, founder and owner of South Bay Social who has helped organize the events.

Renner added the positive response has fueled his team in the planning of this year’s activities.

Jessica Accamando, Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce president, agreed.

“We are so proud to have the community support to continue to add new elements to our celebration and extend to a full weekend so families, individuals, businesses and visitors can enjoy in the celebration,” Accamando said.

This year’s event will have more family-friendly activities including a drag story time, on June 25, from 12:30 to 1 p.m. at the Practical Magic Apothecary on Hermosa Avenue.

Andrew Gawdun and Bryce Toney own the business Curious, which opened in 2009. Gawdun said because they are parents, he was asked to help organize family-friendly activities.

Gawdun said it is a testament to a strong community that Pride in only its second year is getting bigger and better.

“Not backing down and continuing to move forward is really important that you know we’re here to stay, we’re not leaving,” Gawdun said. “You can’t get rid of us. You can’t scare us away. We’re so fortunate to live in a community that embraces all diversity and accepts it.”

Renner said it was mind blowing that after last year’s Pride, the community wanted more family friendly options so straight allies could bring their children to the events.

Last year, local teen Izzy Bacallao and family were inspired to paint the 13th Street lifeguard tower in rainbow pride after learning Long Beach’s Pride Tower mysteriously burned down in March 2021. That rainbow tower was replaced a few months later in June.

Jose Bacallao, Izzy’s father, said he will be volunteering at the Pride festival, but recently he and Izzy, along with their friends, have been giving the lifeguard tower a fresh look because of the heavy use by the lifeguards.

He and Izzy reapplying sand to add friction so lifeguards won’t slip. Izzy and some local friends have retouched the tower’s paint to ensure its vibrancy for this year’s Pride events.

Jose Bacallao said there has not been any tagging or vandalism of the tower. But there were a few hearts with initials and names carved into the tower.

“It was reminiscent of that old style of expressing love,” Bacallao said. “We just cleaned that up so the tower was nice and fresh for Pride.”

Here’s the slate of events for Hermosa Pride:

Friday, June 24: Happy hour at The Stanton on Hermosa Avenue at 6 p.m.  is followed with a screening of the short film, “Gender Outlaw,” at 7 p.m. It’s the story of a local bodysurfing transgender athlete. Then, at 8 p.m., a drag show at The Stanton features Jezebel Patel, Paradise Lahore, Mahaliah Nakita and May Day.

Redondo Beach’s Artesia Bar, the only LGBTQ+ bar in the South Bay, will host an after party beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday.

Saturday, June 25: The day begins at 9 a.m. with a breakfast meet and greet at El Tarasco on Pier Avenue, and continues with a parade from there to the Pride tower at 11 a.m. Guest speakers are planned at the celebration at the lifeguard tower.

Live music will take place at the Fox & Farrow at 1 and 2:15 p.m. as well as Agave Azul at 3, 4 and 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Saturday’s events will also include Sunset Vibes Silent Disco from 6 to 9 p.m. and Patrick Molloys will feature DJs and drinks beginning at 9 p.m. The Sunset Vibes Silent Disco is the only ticketed event at Pride, Renner said. Tickets can be found at eventbrite.com.

Sunday, June 26: Sunday’s events include a beach day by the Pride lifeguard tower and a Drag Brunch at Agave Azul at 1 p.m.

Renner said South Bay Social will be selling Pride apparel at various locations during the weekend to help support its efforts to become a nonprofit.

Free Pride flags are available at the Hermosa Beach Chamber, Cultured Slice, Gum Tree, Curious, or the H2O Hermosa hotel.

For more information, visit the HermosaBeachPride Instagram page.

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