Long Beach is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the nation. After celebrating National Pride Month with the rest of the country in June, our city will be hosting its own Pride Month throughout July.
The centerpiece of the month will be the 37th Annual Long Beach Pride Parade and Festival, taking place Downtown on July 8-10. The event, traditionally held in May, has been moved to July to take full advantage of summer weather conditions.
A variety of kick-off events in Downtown, Broadway Corridor, and Belmont Shore will help turn up the great vibes in the days preceding Pride Weekend.
This year’s Long Beach Pride Festival is expected to sell out. Information on purchasing tickets, including potential advance pricing discounts, can be found here.
Enthusiastic revelers who have been missing the parade (Sunday, July 10, at 10:30 am on Ocean Boulevard) and festival for the last couple of years are expected to return in force.
Amy Schneider is Grand Marshal for this year’s parade. She had a 40-game winning streak on “Jeopardy” late last year which was the second-longest in the show’s history. Schneider is the first woman and transgender person to surpass $1 million in “Jeopardy” winnings, and is also the first member of the LBGTQ community to win that amount.
“We are thrilled to have Amy as our Grand Marshal this year,” said Elsa Martinez, President of Long Beach Pride, the organization that has persevered through the decades to honor the LGBTQ struggle, celebrate the community, and captivate new generations. “Amy’s winning streak allowed America the opportunity to meet a brilliant and personable champion who also happens to be a trans woman,” noted Martinez.
This year’s festival attendees will be greeted by a re-imagined and expanded experience.
“This year will raise the bar and become the gold standard for Pride festivals everywhere,” boasted a press release from Long Beach Pride. “In the last decade, live events have entered a new sphere of rich, dynamic content. In order to tell our story, we need to engage multiple audiences in multiple ways. This year, in addition to the stages and musical entertainment, we’ll be creating several activations and attractions that will bring guests and sponsors together in an environment that entertains, educates and inspires.”
One of the most exciting new Pride activations is the Roller Rink, where the entire family can bounce, rock, skate, and roll to the most energizing dance anthems of the last several decades. The nearby Family Fun Zone gives the whole brood a chance to relax and partake in interactive activations that celebrate diversity and individuality.
This year’s festival will be the first to feature a Silent Disco! Put on a pair of headphones and groove with fellow partiers in a disco DJ dome.
The live entertainment line-up is nothing short of spectacular. Iggy Azalea, of “Fancy” fame, will be the headliner on the Urban Stage, which will also feature such local favorites as rapper YoYo and trans activist Gia Banks.
Singers Natalia Jimenez and Paulina Rubio are the Fiesta Caliente Stage headliners, and vocalists Brian Stansell and Jennifer Corday are the main acts on the Country Stage. In the Reload Dance Pavilion, a comfortably shady place to party, ten different DJs will keep the crowd lit over the course of the weekend.
For a complete list of festival entertainers, click here.
On Sunday, July 10, get your energy ready for the parade and festival by participating in the Long Beach Pride Run; Choose between a 5K or 10K and receive a special commemorative 30th anniversary t-shirt and medal for finishing. Proceeds from the event will help support The LGBTQ Center, the AFS – AIDS Food Store, and the LB CARE program.
Throughout the festival weekend, iconic bars such as The Falcon and Sweetwater Saloon on the Broadway Corridor just east of Downtown will be rocking. A sure topic of conversation will be the City’s recent opening of discussions about designating the Corridor and surrounding neighborhoods as a cultural district.
Visitors to the Broadway Corridor can also check out the City’s updates to the Pride crosswalks at Broadway and Junipero. Arrows at one end of the crosswalks add new meaning and color: black and brown for marginalized communities of color, and pink, blue and white – the colors of the Transgender Pride Flag.
This year’s Long Beach Pride Month promises many opportunities for fun, entertainment, and support. Don’t miss this chance to celebrate with the local LGBTQ community in a city which has grown and changed over the decades to become an exemplar of progress, diversity, and inclusion.