San Diego Pride outlines numerous festival activities

Early bird ticket prices available until July 16

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego LGBT Pride festival will host more than 200 exhibitors, special attractions, food and drink, and live acts scheduled across four performance stages.

The two-day extravaganza will take place from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 17, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 18, at Marston Point in Balboa Park.

The festival will follow San Diego Pride’s 36th annual outdoor rally, which will be at 6 p.m. Friday, July 16, at Marston Point; and a mile-long parade beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, through the heart of Hillcrest.

San Diego Gay & Lesbian News has already reported that actress Cloris Leachman and global human-rights activist Stuart Milk will serve as parade grand marshals.

SDGLN has also reported that the headliner entertainers will be Devo, glam rapper Eve and “American Idol” alum Blake Lewis.

Special festival attractions will include three dance floors fueled by country, Latin and high-energy music, with the latter making way for renowned DJs such as DJ Obey from London and El Vee from Los Angeles.

Non-stop live entertainment capturing a plethora of musical genres will be available on the Cox Communications Main Concert Stage, as well as the 21+, Women’s and Latin stages.

The grounds will also encompass the popular Art of Pride showcasing local LGBT artists in a variety of mediums. Lambda Archives will present LGBT historical displays from its extensive collections. The Women’s Health Tent, along with two HIV testing sites and sober-living areas, will address well-being and recovery issues.

Other areas include a zone for teens and young adults, a Children’s Garden hosted by Family Matters, a transgender space sponsored by TransNation and a seniors “lounge” called The Fifty and Better Cool Zone presented by Collwood Terrace Stellar Care.

In addition, this year’s Leather Realm area, organized by the San Diego leather community, has been expanded and relocated to the grassy southern tip of Marston Point within the festival grounds.

Free carnival booths will provide visitors opportunities to take home prizes, while those shopping for footwear can peruse the “Shape Up America” exhibit, a traveling tour by Sketchers that will feature a bus stocked with the company’s latest and greatest styles of sneakers. Dozens of other merchandisers offering unique wares will line the trod.

This year’s main beverage garden will incorporate a spacious lounge presented by the Hard Rock Hotel. Drinks will include Budweiser, Bud Light and Stella beers, plus Malibu Rum cocktails, margaritas and Cape Cods. A second beverage garden called the Cantina, features beer only. Visitors to either area must be 21 years or older to enter.

Nearly 35 food vendors will be cooking everything from Caribbean and Greek meals to Asian, Mexican and American fare. Newcomers include meatless specialties by Strictly Vegan Jamaican Cuisine, brisket and pulled pork sandwiches by Picnic People, cheese steaks by Eddie’s Philadelphia Steaks, wood-fired pizzas by Pizza Pizzan, plus more.

Tickets are $15 per day or $20 for a weekend pass if purchased by midnight July 16 at www.SanDiegoPride.org.

Gate prices are $20 per day or $30 for the weekend. The cost is $10 for seniors 60 and older and students 18 to 24 with valid ID. Admission is free for active military with ID.

For further details and entertainment schedules, call the Pride office at (619) 297-7683 or visit the website.

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