Celebrate Downtown

More than 900 people attended DLBA’s Celebrate Downtown event on Thursday, March 24 from 6-9 PM in Lincoln Park. It was the highest attendance recorded for the annual event since it began in 2012, and it brought the most weekday visits to Lincoln Park since its re-opening on February 11.

In addition to several activities including local food and music, DLBA presented an update on Downtown’s thriving progression and a glimpse into a vibrant future.

During the event, DLBA formally recognized Spirit of Downtown Award honorees.  Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see a list of winners.


Spirit of Downtown Award Winners

(Note: Awards postponed in 2020-2021 due to the pandemic)

  • Jamaica Aali, Black Everywhere
  • Dr. Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach
  • Sheila Gibbons and Alan Giomi, Willmore Baking Company
  • Robb Smith, Alley Cat Deliveries
  • Downtown Runners, represented by Joaquin Nuñez
  • Pedal Movement, represented by co-founders Johnny Tully, Evan Kelly, and Graham Baden


  • Al Williams, Rainbow Promotions and LB Jazz Festival
  • Laurie Gray, The Pie Bar
  • Isa Rached, The B Room & It’s A Drag To Give
  • Josie Rached, The B Room & It’s A Drag To Give
  • Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Phil Appleby, East Village Arts District
  • Pat Paris-Appleby, East Village Arts District


  • Arts Council for Long Beach (represented by Griselda Suarez)
  • Dale Warner, Hamburger Mary’s
  • Javier and Hilda Ortiz, Kress Market
  • Studioneleven and Retail Design Collaborative (represented by Allan Pullman and Michael Bohn)
  • Summer And Music (SAM) (represented by Justin Hectus, Ashley Hectus, and Rand Foster)


  • Jan Robert van Dijs, JR van Dijs
  • The Family of Josh Fischel
  • The Promenade Area Residential Association (PARA) Playground Committee (represented by Kristin Dunn, Deb K and Joen Garnica)


  • Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal
  • Don Darnauer, Resident
  • Julia Huang, interTrend Communications


  • Brian Ulaszewski, City Fabrick
  • Mary Coburn, DLBA Operations Mgr (retiring)
  • Friends of Lincoln Park (represented by Allison Kripp)
  • Giovanna Ferraro, Groundwork Fitness


  • Downtown Residential Council (represented by Eric Carr)
  • Gabe Gordon, Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
  • Kerstin Kansteiner, Berlin Bistro


  • John and Michelle Molina, Lauren Limbaugh and Kasra Esteghamat, Millworks
  • Jim Danno and Kathleen Irvine, Willmore City Heritage Association

2012 (inaugural awards all presented posthumously)

  • Larry Allison, Press Telegram’s Editorial Page Editor
  • Bill Baker, Chair, Long Beach Redevelopment Agency
  • Mark Bixby, Bicycling Advocate and Community Volunteer
  • Shaun Lumachi, Co-Founder and Publisher, Long Beach Post