With a reenergized vision that included a vibrant pool party, top name talent across two stages, 5 dance venues and the colorful Pride Parade, LA PRIDE for 2012 shattered attendance records with well over 400,000 in West Hollywood for the parade and more than 45,000 event tickets issued for Saturday and Sunday. Friday night's PRIDE Purple Party, the kickoff to LA PRIDE, welcomed 8,000 guests, twice as many a last year. LA PRIDE is the annual LGBT celebration produced by nonprofit Christopher Street West.
"We are thrilled that this year LA PRIDE exceeded our wildest imaginations in terms of enthusiasm, new features, corporate sponsorships and attendees," said Rodney Scott, Board President of Christopher Street West. "Whether guests were enjoying powerhouse concerts by Lil' Kim, Karmin and Ivy Queen, splashing around in SummerTramp, dancing in Latino Carnival, visiting Erotic City or laughing with the very funny Fortune Feimster, everyone had a blast!" Added ally Lisa Vanderpump, breakout star of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Pride Parade participant representing her restaurant Sur, "As a long-time advocate for the LGBT community, I was thrilled to be in the parade this year. West Hollywood was energized all day!"
Set in redesigned West Hollywood Park, new for 2012, LA PRIDE welcomed SummerTramp, the infamous downtown Los Angeles pool party. SummerTramp was a fun, flirty and very popular addition to the annual celebration and featured the the largest inflatable water slide in California, two pools and the Titanic dry slide.
Latino Carnival was also new for 2012. Produced in conjunction with Club Papi, Latino Carnival welcomed headline performers Ivy Queen and Maria Jose plus Andres Cuervo, Shayra Sanchez and Dario Benitez to its high-energy stage. The Papi Boyz, America's hottest Latin go go's, also wowed the crowd.
The LA PRIDE AT&T Mainstage served as the heartbeat of the celebration and had the most diverse lineup to date. The Queen Bee, Lil' Kim, performed in concert for one full hour to thunderous applause and a record crowd. Belinda Carlisle brought the hits from her solo career plus classics from the Go Go's and told the thousands in attendance that, "My son is gay, and I wouldn't have it any other way." Pop sensation Karmin performed their current Billboard Top 20 hit, Brokenhearted and Crash Your Party among other hits from their just released album, Hello. Dev, Jessica Sutta, Upright Cabaret, Alec Mapa and BP Major also performed.
For Friday night, PRIDE Purple Party, sponsored by the SHOWTIME® unscripted series The Real L Word®, returned with entertainment provided by Fortune Feimster, and The Voice's Beverly McClellan and Frenchie Davis. This free to attend celebration of women, now in its second year, also featured a special live appearance by Real L Word cast members Sara Bettencourt, Cori and Kacy Boccumini, Amanda Leigh Dunn, creator Ilene Chaiken and Whitney Mixter.
In addition to being one of the most sought after Pride destinations in the world, LA PRIDE is a powerful economic engine for host city West Hollywood. According to the West Hollywood Marketing and Visitors Bureau, hotel occupancy for LA PRIDE weekend was well over 90%. Genevieve Morrill, President/CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said, "We are thrilled with the great success of LA PRIDE 2012. Christopher Street West brings phenomenal amounts of business to West Hollywood and as they succeed, so does our entire business community."
Preparations are already underway for LA PRIDE 2013, taking place in host city West Hollywood, June 7-9. Stay connected to LA PRIDE on Facebook, Twitter and at LAPRIDE.org. Click HERE for official media photos.
ABOUT CHRISTOPHER STREET WEST
Christopher Street West produces the annual Los Angeles LGBT PRIDE celebration in West Hollywood. A 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, CSW is a leading partner in the advancement of human rights, education, outreach and equality for the LGBT community. Lead by a professional, all-volunteer board of directors, CSW produces one of the largest PRIDE celebrations in the United States and hosted the world's first PRIDE Parade in 1970.
...and Proud of it!