Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Pride is an annual event in Long Beach, California that takes place during one of the last weekends in May. Established by Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Pride, Inc. (LBGLP), it began in 1984 just one year after the organization started. Due to a lack of funds, the first few events were quite small and didn't see many visitors. As the event grew in size, the organization raised enough funds to establish annual events and to donate money to other nonprofit organizations.
The festival and parade take place over two days and see more than 75,000 people come out to celebrate. It now ranks as one of the largest LGBTQ festivals on the West Coast, and one of the five largest in the entire country. The 2017 Long Beach Pride Festival and Parade received hundreds of toy donations that it gave to children in need. Some of the past celebrities who participated in the pride event include The Bangles, Monica, Shannon, Jennifer Hudson, and The Village People.
The Long Beach Pride events will take place Saturday, May 18 through to Sunday, May 19, 2019, in Long Beach, California. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the first event. Though the organizers have not yet announced information about the parade, it will likely follow the same route as the 2018 parade did. At 9am on Saturday morning, guests can check out the Rainbow Run award ceremony and see who won awards from the past year. A pre-parade show with a celebrity guest will start at 9:45am and run until 10:30am when the parade starts.
This route typically starts on Obispo Avenue and moves around the surrounding several blocks. Famous faces will be on hand to provide commentary and walk the parade route. Alexandra Billings and Jewels were a few of the famous faces on hand for the 2018 Long Beach Pride Parade. More than 200 floats and hundreds of individuals march the parade route each year. They toss candy and small gifts to the crowds waiting on each side of the road. You can visit the official Long Beach Pride Parade website to join the parade or simply find a good viewing spot along the route.
Long Beach Gay Pride is about more than just a simple parade though. Its organizers welcome teens and others struggling with their sexual identities to get the help that they need. There are multiple Fun Zones set up around the city that let visitors meet locals and chat with other visitors. One is a Teen Pride Zone that offers activities and special events for teenagers. If you bring your family with you, you'll want to hit up one of the Family Fun Zones. These zones offer special activities for families and kids of all ages - fun for everyone.
Fans of music won't want to miss the special guests scheduled to appear at the 2019 Long Beach Gay Pride events. The festival boasts several stages along Obispo Avenue that welcome guests all day on Saturday, and during the early morning and late afternoon on Sunday. Sheila E closed out the fun in 2018 and had a blast. Saturday usually offers more mellow music during the day, before becoming one of the largest dance parties around at night so be sure to bring your best set of shoes! You can see some of your favorite DJs spinning records and encouraging participants to hit the dance floor.
The 2019 Long Beach Pride Festival will likely be one of the largest festivals you ever visit. Organizers believe that 80,000 to 100,000 or more will attend this year. You can take part in the parade and enjoy all the other great activities too.