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In the summer months, many Long Beach residents look forward to the Downtown Long Beach Alliance’s (DLBA) annual food festival series, Taste of Downtown, during which visitors sample food and drinks from Downtown eateries while enjoying live music and shopping in different neighborhoods of the central business district. As a result of the health crisis, the DLBA is re-imagining these events and will present the first-ever Virtual Taste of Downtown, sponsored by the Long Beach Post/Hi-lo and Long Beach Business Journal. The online activities will take place on Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30, hosted live on Facebook @DowntownLongBeach.

Under the theme “Takeout Together,” the free Virtual Taste of Downtown is designed to support Downtown businesses, residents, and the Greater Long Beach community through live online interaction.

“While we may be apart physically, we still can still connect and support one another virtually,” said DLBA Placemaking Manager Mariah Hoffman. “Our upcoming Virtual Taste of Downtown will promote businesses and provide them with much-needed exposure on a broad platform, while giving the Greater Long Beach community a fun opportunity to come together online and enjoy some food, drinks, and live entertainment.”

Hosted on DLBA’s Facebook Event webpage, the Virtual Taste of Downtown will feature livestreams from Downtown restaurants and businesses: from Quarantini cocktail demonstrations to culinary demonstrations and fitness classes, viewers will be able to participate from home and are encouraged to order meals, meal/cocktail preparation kits, or gift cards from participating restaurants and businesses.

In addition to demonstrations, the event will feature virtual tours of shops and restaurants, live music and artistic performances, as well as gift card giveaways. The two-day festivities will culminate in a headline musical performance timed to follow the nightly 8 p.m. show of support for frontline workers, in which Downtown residents flash their lights and cheer from windows and balconies.

“We believe this virtual event will uplift spirits, connect our community, and support our Downtown businesses,” reflected Hoffman.

Event Schedule: Friday, May 29 from 3-8:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 30 from Noon to 8:30 p.m. A detailed hourly schedule of events is forthcoming.

In addition to restaurants, any Downtown business able to provide compelling interactive content – whether it be tours, live demonstrations, or other creative activities – is welcome to participate. To do so, fill out this online form by May 19 at 3 p.m. Slots are limited. Those requiring additional information may contact Hoffman at MariahH@dlba.org or 562-708-0420.