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Welcome to Las Vegas sign goes rainbow for Pride

YESCO employee Kenny West services the Welcome to Las Vegas sign Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013. West services the sign once a month and changes the 94 yellow bulbs around the sign perimeter, he said.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Las Vegas tourists and residents alike are about to get a big gay welcome this Friday.

That’s when the Southern Nevada Association of Pride, Inc.—which manages and produces Las Vegas Pride—the Human Rights Campaign gay-rights lobbying organization and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority promotional board pull off something pretty, well, fabulous: They will re-light the iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign just south of the Strip, swapping out its bordering 89 yellow bulbs with ones from the six colors that make up the symbolic rainbow flag.

The temporary switcheroo will signal the beginning of and last throughout Las Vegas Pride, an 11-day stretch of events encompassing the celebration of the local LGBTQ community—and turning 30 this year, to boot. Smaller happenings such as bingo, skate night, brunches and the requisite parties lead up to the big one-two weekend punch: The Pride Night Parade on Friday, September 6, and the Pride Festival the following day.

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus and Clark County Commissioner Chris Guinchigliani are among the dignitaries slated to attend Friday’s sign re-lighting—oddly scheduled at the very bright 10 a.m. hour—as is openly gay Nevada Assemblyman James Healey, who remarked about the event via press release that “the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is an internationally celebrated icon and by turning rainbow in celebration of Pride Week, it shows the world how welcoming Las Vegas is to its LGBT community members, visitors and allies.” Come one, come all, come out.

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