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Costa Mesa’s Pride Guide: LGBTQ Events for 2024

Posted on June 5, 2024 | 10:33am | Travel Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa’s Pride Guide: LGBTQ Events for 2024

June is here, the sun is out, and our rainbows are in full technicolor. We’re proud devotees of Dolly P. throughout the whole year—we have the mural to prove it, see below—and when June comes around, we can’t help turning the volume up on everything gay in Costa Mesa. 

Here are some of our favorite places to celebrate and take part in LGBTQ events in 2024:

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Segerstrom Center for the Arts brings Orange County together through celebrating art, performance, and music. Visit Segerstrom for their world-class entertainment, from shows straight out of Broadway, to symphony performances, and movie screenings on the lawn.

Does the word “prom” give you nervous flashbacks to being too gay to be cool in high school? We get it, and so does Segerstrom. This June, they’re hosting Plaza Prom: Pride edition. This time, Prom means community, drag queens, and way better music.

  • Plaza Prom: Pride: Relive prom night as an adult with drag performances, free arcade games, and DIY corsages and boutonnieres.
  • Pride Live: Pride Anthems: Take a musical journey that spans 50 years of music celebrating LGBTQ culture. From heartache to liberation, experience the musical legacy of queer musicians. 

Strut Bar + Birdcage Lounge

Need to dance the night away? Strut Bar, OC’s premiere LGBTQ nightclub, has the beats to get your body moving. Walking into Strut, you’re instantly immersed in a familiar atmosphere with all the music you know and love, but with a community vibe that only exists in Costa Mesa. If you want something quieter for conversation, you don’t have to leave. Step into their all-new Birdcage Lounge, where you can cuddle up with your besties—or with a fantastic cocktail. The more intimate space serves flocktails in kitschy bird cups and flamingo pool floaties. 

Not one for nightlife? Dolly awaits. Strut is the home of a special tribute to Dolly Parton, featuring a fifty-two foot mural on the exterior of the building, recently restored by Long Beach artist David Gilmore. The owner of Strut, Luke Nero, says, “She represents love and light.” Enough said. 

Tin Lizzie Saloon

Coming here is being part of history. Tin Lizzie Saloon is not just the longest-standing gay & lesbian bar in Costa Mesa, but in all of Orange County. The saloon dates back to the 1950s, and as you step inside, the rest of the world falls away. Tin Lizzie sets its own tempo, moving at a pace that has marched and endured proudly for almost a century. 

The moody red lights and Victorian atmosphere offer a memorable night for locals and visitors alike.

OC Pride Festival & Parade

The OC Fair & Event Center has year-round experiences and entertainment, and summer’s OC Fair is the main event. This year brings big news: a new queen is in town, and she’s sashaying her way to the fairground for the OC Pride Festival & Parade. This is the official Pride event for OC, out-loud and in-color at its brand new home in Costa Mesa. Catch it on October 5th, 2024 at the fairgrounds. 

One-of-a-Kind Dining

Located in Costa Mesa’s famous South Coast Plaza, the two-story dining collective Collage Culinary Experience is a sensory delight. There’s not a label that fits the experience, and we’re okay with that. Collage offers local and global-inspired fare in a colorful, stylish space that celebrates authenticity and joy. You can pop in for a quick snack or bev at Blossoms and Brass to start the night out right—or make a day of it and eat your way through the best of Costa Mesa flavor. 

Shop Local, Shop Small

Change starts at the community level, and two alternative shopping centers in Costa Mesa are making it happen. Eschewing everything quick, corporate, and mass-produced, The LAB and The CAMP instead choose community and creators. The soul of a city is in its small businesses and its local dining, and there’s no better place to experience the DNA of Costa Mesa than The LAB and The CAMP.

  • The LAB Anti-Mall: A stomping ground for local creators and crave-worthy food. It’s the home of shops like House of Intuition, an LGBTQ owned shop with a mission to foster individual spirituality. 
  • The CAMP: Situated right across the street, The CAMP is a green and eco-friendly campus that balances modern needs with environmental consciousness. Visit LGBTQ-owned Blackmarket Bakery for sweets and treats you’ll be thinking about long after you leave, or hit up the local breweries for craft beers and new friends.

Stay the Night

Settle in and book a stay at one of Costa Mesa’s top hotels to give yourself time to see all the city has to offer. Every location on this guide is inclusive and welcoming. We want you to feel at home right away so you can focus instead on the comfy rooms, comprehensive amenities, and world-class service. 

If it’s your first visit to Costa Mesa, welcome! Thanks for being a friend.