By Chris Greenspon/LAist

Originally published Jun 24, 2021

This weekend, Boyle Heights is getting its very own official Pride event.

Organizers of Orgullo Fest say it’s the first of its kind, launched with support from City Councilman Kevin De León and local organizers like Luis Octavio, co-owner of the Noa Noa Place bar in Boyle Heights.

“Even in Southern California where there are a ton of Latinos, our Pride events that we have still give us a small stage,” Octavio said. “We’re never a part of the bigger stage. And so for that reason we decided to start Orgullo Fest.”

Octavio said the day-long festival will include tributes to the Eastside’s LGBTQ history, which includes one of the oldest queer bars in Boyle Heights, Red’s.

“Red’s has been around since the 1950s and its been known as a lesbian bar, and it’s gone through different ownerships, so this is a part of history, this is a part of our community,” he said.

The festival is one of the new neighborhood events that sprouted this year that celebrate the LGBTQ community, as larger events like LA Pride have gone without a parade or festival.

The free Orgullo Fest takes place this Sunday, from noon to 7 p.m., along First Street [near the corner of Soto] in Boyle Heights. There will be music and a performance by drag queen Melissa Befierce.

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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