One of the largest and most entertaining such events in the country to take place in July, San Diego LGBT Pride draws some 50,000 spectators and participants to a massive festival, and more than 175,000 spectators for huge parade. It takes place in the middle of the month, July 18 to 20, 2014, and pulls in folks from throughout Southern California. San Diego is also relatively cool in the summertime, making it a great destination if you're looking for a place to beat the July heat.
In San Diego, Pride celebrations center around a handful of events, but the biggies are a Pride Parade on Saturday and a Pride Music Festival that takes place July 19 and July 20.
The weekend kicks off with a San Diego Gay Pride Rally on Friday, June 18, at 6 pm, in Hillcrest at the junction of Normal Street and University Avenue. Speaking at the rally are several prominent speakers, including Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox.
Held on Saturday, June 19, at 11 am, the San Diego Gay Pride Parade has more than 200 floats and contingents and features a variety of awards in different categories (most creative entry from a local business, top musical marching contingent, most entertaining and crowd-pleasing float, and so on). The parade runs along University Avenue, from Normal Street and 6th Avenue, before turning south and to Balboa Drive at Upas Street.
The San Diego Gay Pride Music Festival runs throughout both Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20. On Saturday it's from noon until 10 pm, and Sunday it's 11 am to 8 pm. Admission costs $20 per day ($30 for two days) - you can purchase tickets here online. The festival is in lovely Balboa Park (at Marston Point, Laurel St. and 6th Ave.), right near Hillcrest and the Gay Pride Parade procession. There's a family midway for kids, beer gardens, a farmers market, a Youth Zone, Mundo Latino, My Big Gay Wedding Expo, Bear Country Saloon, more than 300 vendors from the local community, several entertainment stages - some 80 performers will appear this year, including The Cliks, Ruby Rose, Robbie Rivera, TyDi, Alex Newell, Britney Spears Tribute Concert, Lady GaGa Tribute Concert, Ryan Cassata, Charice, Deborah Cox, and many others. Here's a map of the festival grounds and attractions.
Bear in mind that many San Diego gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Check local gay papers, such as San Diego LGBT Weekly and San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, for more on the local scene and what's going on during Pride. Also be sure to check out the superb GLBT travel site produced by the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, an excellent resource for planning your trip.