There’s something special about autumn, isn’t there? Feelings of comfort and nostalgia, trees getting those fall colors (yes, it even happens in a beach town), and the experience of your favorite holiday traditions all play into the love of the fall season.
Downtown is offering several festivals to get you into the autumn groove, with flavors ranging from the folksy to the futuristic! Check out our suggestions and make plans to join us for some fall festival fun.
Colossal NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is bringing the Shaqtoberfest Halloween Festival to the Queen Mary for the second year. Now underway and open through Halloween Night (see schedule here), Shaqtoberfest has all the fall festival goods; an old-fashioned carnival midway with some choice rides, a pumpkin patch with all kinds of scary twists and turns, “Dead Man’s Wharf,” where you’ll find yourself wandering among eerie, fog-enshrouded sea vessels, AND, “The Engine Room Experience,” where you’ll board the Queen Mary and explore its notoriously spooky engine room.
For the 21-and-older set, there are numerous bars and lounges to choose from, such as “Tiki Terror,” a bamboo hut next to the Queen Mary where you can sip your favorite tropical cocktails, and “Diesel’s Boathouse,” which will be pouring your favorite craft beers to refresh you and your friends during strenuous rounds of cornhole.
Shaqtoberfest will be music-heavy: Prepare to enjoy your cotton candy, popcorn, and batter-dipped Oreos while checking out live performances and DJs throughout the festival grounds. For a complete listing of all attractions, schedule details, and to purchase tickets, click here.
The multi-faceted art and streetwear convention ComplexCon will be returning to the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18 and 19. Created to bring “the internet to real life,” ComplexCon combines live music, retail pop-up shops, and deep discussions with cultural influencers, along with activations of the latest in art, food, fashion, interactive technology and MUCH more to create a festival unlike any other in the world.
Returning this year is the First We Feast Lagoon, which is food central at the ComplexCon experience. Prepare to sample the latest in culinary style! ComplexCon is a shot of fresh, worldwide cultural energy. To get your tickets for this one-of-a-kind festival, click here.
Picture yourself traveling across the bay to the Queen Mary waterfront, preparing to be transported — but not by the ship! You’re heading for Dreamstate, a huge trance music festival described by organizers as “an oasis for dreamers, dancers, and lovers.”
Dreamstate will be happening on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17 and 18. Both days feature STACKED lineups of international trance DJs, including such legends of the game as Armin van Buuren and Paul Oakenfold. As night falls, prepare to be dazzled by the latest in audiovisual technology that will raise your dream state to unforgettable heights.
For complete lineup details, booking tickets for a stay at the Queen Mary, and to purchase tickets, click here.
Originating in Germany in the early 1800s, Oktoberfest has become an essential fall festival worldwide — including in Downtown Long Beach. The Third Annual Long Beach Oktoberfest is now happening on weekends through Oct. 22 at the Scottish Rite Event Center, 855 Elm Avenue.
Long Beach’s Oktoberfest has all the ingredients for a wonderful celebration, with a variety of German beers flowing freely. Pair your brew with freshly grilled bratwurst, sauerkraut, and other German favorites. While you’re partying, you’ll be serenaded by Festmeister und Die Sauerkrauts, a band that knows exactly how to get an Oktoberfest beer garden rocking!
During Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, the event is 21+, but during daytime on Saturday and Sunday all ages are welcome. Kids 12 and under get in FREE. For schedule details, VIP ticket opportunities, and ticket purchasing, click here.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS
Downtown will be hosting a spectacular Dia De Los Muertos celebration on Saturday, Nov. 4, in two parts; The Dia De Los Muertos Parade on Pine Avenue and the Arte y Ofrendas Festival at Rainbow Lagoon Park. It’s a full day to appreciate the beauty and meaning of this ancient Mexican tradition, which celebrates the lives of departed loved ones.
Get into the spirit of the day at the Dia De Los Muertos Parade, which starts at Pine and 3rd at 11 AM. You’ll be moved by the rich panoply of costumed paraders accompanied by musicians, folklorico dancers, and cars adorned with marigolds and papier mache calaveras (skulls).
Follow the parade down Pine and over to Marina Green Park, where you can stay until 10 PM at the Arte y Ofrendas Festival, enjoying Aztec dancers, face painting, an artisan’s market, ample food and drink, and the many altares created to honor the memory of family members and friends. These altares are the centerpiece of the entire holiday.
For complete parade and festival information and to buy tickets, click here.