Five Picks for (Mostly) Holiday Happenings in Long Beach This Weekend

It’s Friday in Long Beach. Better yet, it’s Friday during the Holiday Season in Long Beach. Check out our first December weekend of the year, filled with festive street fairs, musical events, and more. Go out and find your comfort and joy; we send you good tidings.

This First Friday in Bixby Knolls stands out above the rest, since it’s the special First Fridays Holiday Edition. The Holiday edition involves the monthly event’s Eighth Annual Tree and Menorah Lighting at Nino’s Italian Restaurant (3853 Atlantic Avenue) at 6:00PM, the First Friday Carolers, cocoa and the Sea Funk Brass Band. Add in a Santa Claus, elves and candy canes, and you’ve got yourself a bounty of photo opportunities for yourself and your tiny tots. Other specials are sure to light up your night: seasonal specialty baked goods at Elise’s Tea Room, First Fridays photo class, specialty yoga by Free Spirit Yoga, a Kids Craft Zone at Oh Very Young and much, much more. Check out the Facebook page and get it on all the action.

On Saturday, the 33rd Annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade lights up Second Street from 6:00PM to 9:00PM. With a Miracle on 2nd Street theme, Grand Marshall Don Knabe and parade announcers Bruce Macrae and Misty May Traenor, the who’s-who of Long Beach will all be there. Head down to the shore to mingle, and grab a candy cane and a Santa hat while you’re at it. You know what they say: there’s a child within all of us. Streets close at 5:00PM.

The Howl event space in downtown Long Beach is celebrating the release of the Howl Adventure Guide, Volume 2 with a release party, gift wrapping station and 10 percent off at neighboring Recreational Coffee. Swing by Saturday at 11:00AM and shop until you drop… or until the event ends, which is at 6:00PM Sunday. Featuring retailers such as Yellow 108, Iron & Resin, Norman Russell and more, Howl is quite sure to have something for any Long Beach resident’s Christmas list. To truly localize that shopping list, stop on by.

Also happening Saturday and Sunday, boba tea enthusiasts cash in on the grand opening weekend special at Zero Express. Each drink ranges from $3.00 to $4.50, and if you pay an extra buck and a half you can have it served in Zero Express’ signature glass milk bottle, a take-home keepsake not to be brought back and reused due to a few health code issues, according to a shop employee. If you’re a student or a local, it’s advised that you walk or ride a bike, as parking can be extremely difficult. The first 100 hundred customers through this Saturday and Sunday will receive their order free, while you can buy-one-get-one-free any day all day until next Sunday, December 13. Zero Express’ grand opening hours are Friday through Sunday, 12:00PM to midnight. For more information, visit the shop’s Instagram @zeroexpress. Zero Express is located at 1785 Palo Verde Avenue, Suite F.


You know what? If all else fails this weekend, there’s always those men in Speedos. Gay Entertainment Directory (GED Magazine) is bringing the Long Beach Santa Fun Run back for its third year to benefit the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, as well as the AIDS Food Store of Long Beach, with donations of non-perishable food items. The occasion begins Sunday, December 6 at 12:30PM at the Paradise Bar for pre-run drink specials, photos and a meet-and-greet with “Santa’s sexy elves.” The run will start around 2:30PM and head down Broadway to Hamburger Mary’s. “Throw modesty to the winter wind and dash across town on an easy 1.5 mile route,” the announcement encouraged. Speedos, santa hats, jingle balls (ahem, bells) are all appropriate apparel for this event. Guests can register individually on two different levels. At $50 plus a non-perishable food item, participants who choose “COMET” will receive registration for one person, the after-party luncheon at Hamburger Mary’s, an event T-Shirt, a Santa Hat and five raffle tickets. At $20 with a non-perishable food donation, participants who choose “PRANCER” will get to attend the after-party luncheon.

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