NOTE: Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to this year’s Celebrate Downtown event, we have unfortunately reached capacity and can no longer take any RSVPs. For those who have RSVPed, we thank you and look forward to seeing you. To those who were unable to RSVP before we reached capacity, we invite you to our next free event, Live After 5 – Neo Soulstice, where we will have free live music hosted at the Breakers Building on Thursday, March 10 from 5PM to 11PM.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued dedication to DTLB.

Four years ago, the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) created the Spirit of Downtown Awards at its inaugural Celebrate Downtown event, and honored posthumously four individuals that the Long Beach community had sadly lost in 2012: Shaun Lumachi, founder of the Long Beach Post; Larry Allison, long-respected Editor of the Press-Telegram; Bill Baker, a famed volunteer and redevelopment master; and Mark Bixby, DLBA Director and Long Beach’s bicycling guru who largely headed the creation of our City’s massive biking infrastructure and culture.

This year’s event, to be held at The Pike Outlets on Thursday, February 25 from 5PM to 9PM, continues that tradition by honoring members and organizations of our community, each of whom have accomplished incredible achievements in the past and perpetually look ahead toward a more promising future.

Honorees include Don Darnauer, a resident of Pine Avenue since 1991, 30-year US Coast Guard veteran, and overall champion for DTLB as well as Julia Huang, interTrend Communications founder and one of the leading reasons that the influential artist collective Pow! Wow! Was brought to Long Beach.

Topping out the honorees with a special presentation will be Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, who has been serving the 2nd District and DTLB for a decade and will be ending her tenure in City Hall this year. Lowenthal’s influence has not just altered the landscape of DTLB but Long Beach as a whole, from cementing our city’s biking culture as among the most respected in the nation to spearheading the new Civic Center project.

“Each of these individuals has brought forth significant shifts in the culture of our Downtown,” said Kraig Kojian, President and CEO of the DLBA. “In a sense, each have been part of a defining era of Downtown’s progress: from watching it grow out into the new millennium, to seeing it become a political force to be reckoned with, to watching world-renown artists become a part of the cultural mecca that is Downtown. The contributions that Don, Julia and the Vice Mayor have made are essential cogs in making Downtown Long Beach what it is and what its future holds.”

Joining the DLBA as well as its honorees and guests will be DTLB’s own Auld Dubliner, who will provide beverages including craft beer and wine; Famous Dave’s BBQ will allow guests to grub down on delicious food; and live music from Leather Tramp, one of the bands featured at the DLBA’s Live After 5 series.