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San Pedro Pride brings 4th annual festival into downtown


  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride...

    San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride...

    San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride...

    San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride...

    San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride...

    San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride...

    San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride...

    San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride...

    San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride...

    San Pedro held its 4th annual raising of the Pride Flag Saturday June 18, 2022 to open its Pride Festival in downtown San Pedro. (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

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Four years after its founding, the San Pedro Pride celebration aimed for more visibility on Saturday, June 18, with supporters gathering outside the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, on Harbor Boulevard, to raise the rainbow flag.

The flag raisers were Ryan Blaney of Bridge Cities Alliance and Nathan MacAinish, principal of Cabrillo Elementary School in San Pedro.

Participants then marched into downtown San Pedro. There, Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles performed. That group is the first LGBTQ mariachi band, according to organizers. The band also featured the first transgender female, Natalia Melendez, in the history of mariachi music, organizers said.

The festival, in its fourth year, was launched by the nonprofit Bridge Cities Alliance with a waterfront event at the USS Iowa. Some 5,000 people attended, many from neighboring Long Beach, a city that has been a pioneer in local Pride events.

And unlike many of the other L.A. area events that have big budgets and Hollywood stars, the San Pedro gathering has always been about family and “small town” pride, said San Pedro High School teacher David Crowley, one of the organizers. Other organizers included Mona Sutton, Leslie Jones, Blaney, MacAinish, Christopher Mitchell, Belyna Bentlage and JJ Turner McMullen.

Saturday’s speakers were scheduled to include U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, state Sen. Steve Bradford, and Assemblymen Mike Gipson and Al Muratsuchi.

An after-party took place at La Bocca Felice, hosted by San Pedro High School’s Pride Club.

Music, food trucks and a kids’ craft area were among other offerings. The Jewels of Long Beach hosted a drag show. DJ Rich Girl and local DJ Dangeruss provided music and dancing.

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