Saturday, March 2, 2024

Beach Streets returns with Gayborhood-to-DTLB event (yes, Pride party at Bixby Park included)

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After launching in Bixby Knolls and then having stellar turnouts in various parts of Long Beach, the car-free event that shuts down roads for the people is back with a return to its most popular route, the Gayborhood-to-DTLB stretch that will see the entirety of Broadway shuttered Beach Streets is set to return Saturday, May 20 from 11AM to 5PM, taking over a nearly 2.5-mile stretch of Broadway from Euclid Avenue to Pine Avenue, while also having northernly offshoots up Pine Avenue and Cherry Avenue, the latter connecting with the heart of Retro Row.

Map courtesy of the City of Long Beach.
Map courtesy of the City of Long Beach.

In a series of serendipitous organizing, the organizers behind LB Proud! Fest found that their three-day celebration fell on the same weekend.

“It was then we were approached by the Beach Streets team to partner up and collaborate to make LB Proud! Fest part of Beach Streets,” LB Proud! Fest organizer and LB Living founder Sal Flores said.

What does that mean for the walkers, bikers, skaters, and humans of Beach Streets? A full-on, three-stage celebration at Bixby Park, complete with beer gardens, art, experiences, and more.

“It is probably the most community-driven queer event that’s happened in years and certainly the biggest LGBTQ+ event that’s ever happened in the Gayborhood,” Flores said. “After almost a year of trying to figure out the logistics and such… We were finally able to make it happen thanks to the help of Vice Mayor Cindy Allen.”

The free, three-day festival is taking back Pride’s historical annual start date in May after organizers of the formal Long Beach Pride moved the event to August in order to avoid conflict with WeHo Pride, the other event which the producers of Long Beach Pride also organize. It marks the first time in the organization’s four-decade stretch where it has not been hosted in May, an important fact for queer history because that date usually made Long Beach the first major city in the U.S. to kick off Pride season annually.

Ride on, Long Beach, ride on—and show a little pride for your queer neighbors and friends.

To volunteer for the next Beach Streets, click here.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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