By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Another kind of “special-event status” has also vanished, say longtime fans of the festival. Traditionally, Sunday at Sunset Junction took the form of an unofficial mini–Gay Pride event, a little edgier and a lot more diverse than what you might see in West Hollywood or Long Beach. But Rough Trade Leather & Gear and Le Barcito — two pillars of the gay community, which have hosted some of the best-known parties in the fair’s history — are among the businesses that have been excluded from the festival in recent years.
It’s this sort of disconnect that frustrates some longtime advocates and owners. One could argue that Silver Lake would not have its reputation without the street fair, but the case for the reverse could easily be made: Sunset Junction Street Fair would not be the massive attraction it is without the residents and entrepreneurs who give this neighborhood its flavor.
Those present at May’s meeting have made arguments for both sides of this issue, as they’ve done over and over for the past few years. At the back of the Micheltorena Elementary School auditorium, two rows of teenagers quietly exit the building. The meeting still has another hour and a half left, and none of them has said a word. All around, the adults are bickering about the fate of the festival. If any of the kids has something to contribute to the conversation, no one appears to notice. It doesn’t seem to matter: By the end of the meeting, it begins to look like Sunset Junction is turning into a lose-lose situation, regardless of the outcome.
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