Every year I have shared the visits my nieces make to our city and how for some reason I tend to experience Long Beach through the perspective of two young tourists, a four year old and a six year old. Last weekend was their annual visit, the itinerary had been set weeks prior to their arrival and I couldn’t wait to hang out with them.
Friday afternoon, we would ride our bikes on the boardwalk from Belmont Shore toward the Long Beach Museum and back. We would have dinner at Chens, walk Goli and have a sleepover. This year’s sleepover theme was High School Musical.
Well, our plans for Friday were right on track. The weather was perfect, we rode our bikes, went to Chens for an early dinner and then we went home to walk Goli. Our plans extended once we walked Goli over to Cesar Chavez Park. A staff member at the park was setting up balloons in the atrium area and while he decorated we asked what was going on. There was a sound system, people were arriving with blankets, and there were buses unloading children and teenagers. He shared with us that a ‘70s talent show was about to start. It was the second annual event that would bring together our community to watch talented children and youth dance and sing. The talent show also included areas of face painting, arts, crafts and snacks for the kids. I’m no expert, but I’m confident to state that performers were extremely talented, disciplined in their choreography and made excellent choices in music. So instead of having a High School Musical sleep over, we hung out at the park.
The Parks and Recreation staff was very friendly, they dressed in ‘70s outfits, gave away bottled water, popcorn and encouraged families to come into the atrium and experience the festivities.
My nieces were fascinated, so much they sat through 2 hours of performances. That’s a long time for a six and a four year old to sit through. As soon as the performances ended, we walked home and on the way back they talked about how much they loved Long Beach, the people, the music and how they couldn’t wait for Saturday.
Saturday’s itinerary was a visit to the Mark Twain Library, Mother’s Beach and Joe’s Crab Shack. Unfortunately, I came down with the stomach flu and we had to cut our weekend short. Fortunately for them, they have already called me to reschedule and take them to the museum, library and rides on the Passport. By the way, they have asked if there will be another performance at the park.
I want to thank the Long Beach Parks and Recreation Staff and everyone else that made it possible for our community to gather and celebrate the talent that exists in our schools.