The 2015 Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Celebration will attract over 80,000 participants during this nationally revered two-day event. Leading up to the festivities are a number of events that should pepper your Pride week with a variety of things to do, people to see and places to be, before and after the parade.
Events leading up to Pride include “Pridezilla,” an improv comedy show presented by Held2gether at the Art Theater on Thursday. Starting at 7PM, Long Beach’s own award-winning improv troupe will perform completely unscripted comedy based on the audience’s suggestions. Beer, wine and Tito’s Pridetinis will be served on site. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here. All proceeds will benefit The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach.
Also on Thursday, The Downtown Long Beach Associates' (DLBA) Live After 5 will celebrate Pride at HOWL. Starting at 5PM, a colorful line-up including Hedwig and the Angry Inch in Concert, as done by RIOTstage, will take the limelight to set your Pride week off to a lively start.
Events on Friday include a fundraiser benefiting the AIDS Food Store from 8PM to midnight, hosted by Sabreena and located at Paradise Restaurant and Bar, while the Third Annual Dyke March, Rally and After party will begin at 6:30PM at the Bixby Park Bandshell. The after party will be held at Cafe Ambrosia.
Also on Friday, The Eighth Annual Pink Party at Hamburger Mary’s will kick off Long Beach Pride with live performances, high energy dance and music and drag performances by celebrity drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. These drag queens include Chad Michaels, Latrice Royale and Delta Work. Hosted by entertainer and drag queen Jewels, guests are encouraged to wear their prettiest pink get-ups.
Teen Pride, sponsored by the Port of Long Beach, featuring a dance party, talent show and drag performance, will start at 4PM on Friday. Admission is free and open to teenagers who bring their student or California ID. Food, music, a resource fair and a chance to win prizes are all a part of this Pride party package celebrating #LBTeenPride2015.
For those wishing for a change of scene on Saturday, grab a swimsuit and sunscreen and cross the bridge to the LGB2Network's fifth annual pool party at the Hotel Maya, dubbed Play@ Maya, from 12 to 6PM at the Hotel Maya DoubleTree by Hilton. Featured DJs include Josh Peace, Shane Stiel and Joey Avila. Private cabanas are available. Poolgoers are urged to buy tickets in advance, available through the above link.
Also on Saturday, Men Alive, The Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus will perform an evening tribute to their favorite musical divas at First Congregational Church of Long Beach at 7PM.
On Sunday at 9AM before the Pride Parade, all are invited by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church to Communion on the Bluff at First Street and Temple Avenue. Afterward, a light brunch will be served at a nearby parishioner's home while the church assembles their Pride Parade contingent at 10:45AM.
Over 80,000 eager participants will converge in Long Beach to join or watch the parade and participate in the two-day festival. The parade will start at 10:30AM at Ocean Blvd. and Lindero Ave., one block east of the Long Beach Museum of Art. Those looking for a prime viewing location can head to Bixby Park at 9:30AM for a chance to win free entry to the 32nd Annual Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Festival.
During the festival, headliners Salt-N-Pepa will take the main stage on Saturday (due to popular demand), while multi -Grammy Award winner Patti LaBelle will perform on Sunday. Other features of the festival include a Family Fun Zone for families with children 14 years and younger and five different dance areas, with themes including but not limited to Country, Fiesta Caliente and Urban Soul.
Tickets to Long Beach Pride 2015 can still be purchased by clicking here. Tickets are also available for $20 at the gate.
After the parade and daytime festivities have concluded, LICK, a monthly dance party for “those who enjoy all things queer,” held at Que Sera every fourth Monday, will be moving their May event to Sunday to host live music and an alternative drag show in celebration of Pride. Starting at 7PM, the self-branded “only queer Long Beach Pride Party” will feature bands Sister Mantos, Period BOMB, Violent Vickie and TRAP GIRL.