If there has been one thing about our annual Celebrate Downtown event, it is that recognition holds power; remembering what’s been done helps to shape what can be done to elevate DTLB to new heights.

Come February 25, we once again invite you to attend the event as we host it at the new Pike Outlets from 5PM to 9PM.

Four years ago, we created the Spirit of Downtown Awards, handed out at Celebrate Downtown, and honored 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, Long Beach’s bicycling king who largely headed our City’s massive biking infrastructure and culture.

What’s perhaps most interesting about this particular event is how the shift in its core philosophy—honoring Downtown—mirrors the shift in the DLBA as an organization. Long ago, we had a very corporate approach to this event, with keynote speakers and sponsored tables and dry content. It didn’t fit. It didn’t fit with our mission of creating a better Downtown. It didn’t fit with honoring our Downtown.

It didn’t fit.

That is why this event is special for me: the celebration harkens to the spirit of those four men and their visions for what Long Beach could be and brings together our boldest and brightest for the very simple act of recognition.

Recipients of the 2016 Spirit of Downtown include the ultimate lover and supporter of Don Darnauer; Julia Huang, interTrend Communications founder and one of the leading reasons that the influential artist collective Pow! Wow! Was brought to Long Beach; and Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, for whom we will be giving a special presentation as she ends her decade-long tenure serving the 2nd District.

For more information about the event, click here.

The event is free but space is limited and an RSVP is required by emailing or calling only. The Pike Outlets is located at 95 S Pine Ave. in DTLB. Please email info@dlba.org or call 562-436-4259.