All the colors of July

Jim Osborne rides his bike along the 2017 San Diego Pride parade route on University Avenue.

Jim Osborne rides his bike along the 2017 San Diego Pride parade route on University Avenue.

(Howard Lipin / San Diego Union-Tribune)

I love July in San Diego.

It’s a month where locals and visitors (and there’s a whole lot of them in town) alike can truly feel free to be who they are thanks to two major events in town: Pride and Comic-Con.

First up, on July 14-15 is San Diego Pride — San Diego’s most colorful weekend of the year. Did you know that the original parade, then dubbed the Lesbian and Gay Parade, has been taking place in San Diego since 1974?

The current two-day festival attracts more than 40,000 people to Balboa Park, and this year more than 100 entertainers will be on hand ready to raise the crowd up. This year’s festival headliners include JoJo on Saturday and TLC on Sunday. Check out more about the weekend’s event and other Pride-related events on pages 20 + 22. And keep in mind, the “Pride Festival is open to everyone with an open heart and open mind!”

As the rainbows retreat, Tinseltown arrives along with scores of comic, sci-fi, fantasy, film and TV fans for the annual Comic-Con International, which runs July 19-22 with a preview night on July 18.

Whereas Pride is all about being free to be who you are, Comic-Con is a bit of that, but in reality it’s more about being anything you want to be. Cosplayers of all sizes, shapes, genders, superhero teams, fairy forests or anime worlds rule the streets here. Even if you don’t have tickets to the actual convention, the people watching around downtown is unrivaled.

Grabbing a drink at one of the Gaslamp’s many outdoor patios and watching the cosplayers stroll by is one of my favorite things to do each year — even after spending all day and weekend behind a computer editing Comic-Con coverage. And, who knows, there may even be a celeb sighting or two — fingers crossed for our cover man, Jason Momoa, this year!

To pique your curiosity about Comic-Con, you can find some tidbits about Momoa and this year’s expected blockbuster and Comic-Con reveal, Aquaman, go here. And don’t forget to follow along with PACIFIC’s pre-event and live coverage at

Be the you you are, San Diego.

Leslie Hackett

“There is so much power in expressing yourself without fear. We hope all LGBTQ people will stand pround and be exactly who they are. Persist with pride!” — Tionne Watkins, aka T-Boz of TLC