Hundreds flocked to the sleepy beach town of Laguna Beach on a perfectly sunny day to celebrate Laguna Beach Pride on the weekend of June 1-3 as part of this year’s Pride Month.
The pride celebration offered entertainment, beach parties, Drag Bingo, and for one weekend only, those in attendance got to experience the revival of the legendary Boom Room Room for a tea-dance at the Boom.
Laguna Beach Pride always falls on the first weekend of June in honor of the LGBTQ community. Designed to be a weekend long party in California’s premiere gay beach destination, the event welcomes locals and visitors alike to participate in the annual festivities, from dancing the night away at Main Street Bar & Cabaret to soaking up the sun at the annual West Street Beach Party. The event was established by the Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Committee, Laguna Beach Pride celebrates the rich contribution of the gay community to Laguna Beach.
The list of entertainers this year included:
Singer – Harper Starling
SINGer – Jaki Nelson
Performer – Melissa befierce
DJ – Jonathan Aleman
DJ – Ryan Kenney
DJ – Eddie Martinez
DJ’s – PERRY TWINS
DJ DAWNA MONTELL
Entertainer – Wilhelmina Caviar
VIP Host – Connor
Entertainer – ONGINA
Entertainer – Endora
Beach Host – Frankie Ciccone
Singer Jojo Guadz
And plenty of Go-Go Dancers
The highlight of the entire weekend has to be the re-opening of the Boom Boom Room, which continues to teeter on the verge of extinction. In late 2005, the Boom and the adjoining Coast Inn were sold to make way for an 11-room hotel and restaurant. Boom is a historical treasure. Housed inside the city’s second-oldest hotel, it is the oldest gay bar in the western United States and an anchor of Laguna’s gay community. If the Boom were demolished, an important local institution would be lost forever.
According to savetheboom.com, if the Boom were to close, Laguna Beach would lose more than a single gay bar, it would lose the interest of the gay traveler and in turn, lose the gay dollar.
“Laguna Beach’s hotels, resorts, restaurants, and retail businesses have long benefitted from gay and lesbian tourism to the city,” states Save the Boom. “However, if the Boom were to go, Laguna would suddenly have much less allure for gay and lesbian travellers. Cities such as San Diego, Palm Springs and Los Angeles could easy replace Laguna Beach as the Southern California weekend getaway of choice. As a result, Laguna’s business community would lose out on a key demographic that most cities are working hard to court.”
Many of those at the Boom Boom Room stated that they had not been inside the dance club in over 20 years. They marveled at the original floors and reminisced on the days when the club was a popular hangout. The much younger flock may not appreciate the historical significance of The Boom. They just wanted to have a drink and dance. And dance they did.
Laguna Beach Pride is an annual celebration that should be part of everyones itinerary as they plan out their pride circuit parties in Southern California. To learn more, visit: lagunabeachpride.org
Below are some photos from Sunday’s Beach Party and Tea Dance at the Boom Boom Room.