Things to do in Long Beach this weekend including… community bike rides and silent films

The following is a curated roundup of weekend events in Long Beach published every Wednesday on the Hi-lo/Long Beach Post. Have an event to share? Email [email protected] with “Things to Do” in the subject line.

Art and bicycling are the theme of this week’s list. That wasn’t intentional, but we found more than one great community bicycle outing and artistic workshop worth going to.

Catalina Island is also celebrating the arts in a big way this weekend, with the 35th Annual Avalon Silent Film Showcase which offers attendees the chance to experience early films as they were for years—with live accompanying music. There’s more this weekend, of course, but you know what to do.

Get to scrollin’!


Sketches of Raya from “Raya and the Last Dragon” by visual development artist James Finch during the Khmer Arts Academy visit to Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank (2018). រូបគំនូរដោយសិល្បករបង្កើតរូបភាពឈ្មោះ James Finch ក្នុងអំឡុងពេលទស្សនកិច្ចរបស់សាលាវិចិត្រសិល្បខ្មែរនៅ Walt Disney Animation Studios នៅ Burbank (2018)។

The Michelle Obama Library is hosting Disney animator Benson Shum from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12 for a free, interactive art workshop led by the storied animator who has helped bring to motion some of Disney’s most recent hits, including “Moana,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Frozen II” and “Encanto.”

This workshop will be as good a chance as any to hear what it’s like to bring a Disney animation onto the big screen, how to create your own characters, and what it takes to bring your art to life.

The event is geared toward children 7 years old and older. Adults are welcome too. It is free to attend, but registration is required. To RSVP call the library at 562-570-1047; seating is limited. Click here for more information.

The Michelle Obama Library is at 5870 Atlantic Ave.


Courtesy flyer.

A two-day event celebrating the history and art of silent films is returning to Catalina Island Friday and Saturday, May 13-14 with the 35th Annual Avalon Silent Film Showcase.

The showcase is a pretty big deal for the island and it’s regarded as one of the world’s longest-running annual celebrations of the century-old art form.

Opening day at the Catalina museum’s Ackerman Family Amphitheater on Friday will feature a live presentation by LA musician Jay Mason on the use of woodwind instruments and the saxophone in the evolution of film. Then, silent film historian John Bengston will introduce and give a brief talk about Buster Keaton’s 1924 comedy “Sherlock Jr.” What’s more, attendees will get to experience watching the film as it was done for years—with a live pianist accompanying the movie.

The main event on Saturday will be at the historic Avalon Casino Theatre, that will screen the 1928 film “The Campus Carmen” and the 1922 movie “Blood and Sand.” Both films will be accompanied with live music.

Tickets for Friday are $25 for adults; $5 for children ages 3-15. On Saturday, tickets cost $28 for adults and $5 for children. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

The Ackerman Family Amphitheater is at 217 Metropole Ave. The Avalon Casino is at 1 Casino Way.


Portuguese Bend Distilling in Downtown Long Beach. Photo by Asia Morris.

If you’re looking to get tipsy this weekend, check out Long Beach’s May-garita Pub Crawl, a margarita-themed party at the Portuguese Bend Distillery. All you gotta do is show up to the distillery between 4-5:30 p.m. to check-in and get started, then you’ll be notified of your route which includes drinking at Milana’s New York Pizzeria, Agaves Ultra Lounge, Shannon’s Sports Pub and The Harbor. The locations are all within walking distance.

Drinks will include various margarita flavors, tequila shots, beer and other cocktails including $5 drink specials. Other activities include photos ops, games and potentially being covered in salt or lime.

Patrons are encouraged to wear margarita-themed attire, such as lime greens, tequila shirts or margarita costumes for a chance to win $1,000 worth of prizes and giveaways.

This event is limited to people ages 21 and over and will run on Saturday from 4:30-9 p.m. Tickets sell at $12 or two for $20 and are only available through Facebook, Eventbrite, or the food and pub crawl website. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Portuguese Bend is at 300 The Promenade N.


Intro to comics image courtesy Voicewaves/Compound.

Got an interest in doodling? Visit the Compound art and wellness center for an introduction to creating comics, a workshop where participants can learn how to tell stories using illustrations.

The workshop will be led by Cal State Long Beach art graduates Genesis Lugo and Valour Aguilar, who are producing a comic book together titled, “How Did We Get Here? — Long Beach.” This event is presented by VoiceWaves, a youth-led journalism and media-training project. The event is free to attend, but those who are able to donate are encouraged to purchase a $5-$25 ticket.

Intro to Comics runs Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., participants can RSVP for this event here.

The Compound is at 1395 Coronado Ave.


In this file photo: Long Beach locals take part in the Pride Ride Sunday, May 17, 2020. Organizers of the monthly Moonlight Mash bike ride are throwing a community bike ride in honor of Pride and encouraging riders to dress up in rainbow attire. Photo by Gabriela Mungarro.

Each month whenever there is a full moon bicycle riders, known as the Moonlight Mash, convene for an evening bike ride in the Downtown area.

What can you expect at Moonlight Mash? A safe, coordinated group ride that’s more or less like a costume party on wheels. Traditionally, Pride Month is celebrated in June, but in Long Beach, we like to get the celebration started a little early, in May. Though the annual Long Beach Pride was pushed back to July this year, the Moonlight Mashers wanted to continue the tradition of having the ride in May.

Riders are encouraged to dress up in rainbow attire or come as a single color so that they can create a human rainbow.

Moonlight Mash is free to join, just show up at Pedal Movement by 7:30 p.m. Roll-out is at 8 p.m. After the ride, participants are encouraged to come hang out at Elinor drinkery in Downtown. Click here for more information.

Pedal Movement is at 223 E. First St.


Maggie the blue-fronted amazon parrot is one of several parrots and macaws guests can meet and take photos with Saturday, May 14 at Hotel Maya. Courtesy photo.

Those who dine for brunch at Hotel Maya’s restaurant Fuego on Saturday, May 14 will also have the chance to meet and take photos with live parrots and macaws.

The event is the fifth installment of the hotel’s “Maya Animals” experience, a year-long venture that aims to highlight and educate patrons about the many animals whose characteristics the Mayans assigned to their deities. According to the hotel, parrots, especially macaws, were associated with fire and the sun by the Mayans because of their bright colors.

Guests will be able to meet and take photos with Maggie the blue-fronted Amazon parrot and others from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday in the sculpture garden adjacent to Fuego. The attraction is complimentary to guests who dine at Fuego for brunch.

Click here to make a reservation.

Hotel Maya is at 700 Queensway Drive. Fuego restaurant is located inside the hotel.


Courtesy photo Facebook/Kidical Mass.

The city has dubbed this May to be bike month and as such has organized a series of safe, community bike rides around the city. On Sunday, March 15 the community is invited to meet at Admiral Kidd Park for a family-friendly roll-out on the west side of Long Beach.

The course will travel through Hill Street, Delta Avenue and Blake Avenue through the west side before returning to Admiral Kidd Park. The ride is free to attend, but RSVP is required. Click here for more information. And for more bike-related activities going on in the city, click here.


Still looking for something to do? Contribute to the Post’s annual ask of the community – What’s your favorite _______?

From banking to dog training, the people and businesses of Long Beach are a large part of the fantasticness of our great city. Your vote counts!

Visit through the 15th of May to participate.

Crystal Niebla contributed to this story.

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Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers entertainment, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.