Things to do in Long Beach this weekend including… drag queen storytime and ‘Transformers’

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.

This weekend we’ve got something for those who love to learn something new, are eager to celebrate Pride Week in Long Beach and attend two lovely events celebrating books to read and those with a little more pictures to look at.

Get to scrollin’!


Beachwood’s selection of beers. Photo by Brian Addison.

Whether you’re a beer newbie, seasoned homebrewer or just a fan of craft beer looking to rub elbows with like-minded folk, Beachwood Brewing’s “Beer Side Talks” on Thursday, May 19 ought to be on your radar.

The series, which launched in March, was created to bring the beer community together to share tips, tricks and industry insights. Thursday’s talk will be led by Beachwood’s co-owner and award-winning brewer, Julian Shrago with guest speaker Lindsay Langton, creative director from Bottle Logic Brewing. Together the two will give a crash course on selecting barrels and how they formulate special beers for aging.

Tickets cost $15 and include a beer flight you can sip during the talk. Click here for more information.

Beachwood Brewing is at 210 E. Third St. 


In this file photo: A man holds a Pride flag while attending a Unity Rally in support of the LGBTQ+ community at the site of the Pride Tower in Long Beach Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

Though Gay Pride is more widely celebrated in June, in Long Beach we like to get the party started mid-May. This weekend gay bars will be throwing open their doors and celebrating all over the city, but if you’re looking to mix up the festivities, there’s another community-organized three-day celebration happening in the Downtown area dubbed the “Long Beach Proud Weekend.”

The first on Friday, May 20 is an evening bike Pride parade. Those who’d like to go are encouraged to dress up in all things glowy, glittery or rainbow (however you like to express your pride) and convene at Rosie’s Dog Beach (5000 E. Ocean Blvd.). Route will be on the bike path from Rosie’s Dog Beach to the parking lot by Villa Riviera and back to Bluff Park. Meet-up is at 7 p.m. Ride out is at 7:45. Click here for more info.

On Saturday, May 21 there will be a queer bar crawl starting at 1 p.m. at Broadway Cocktail Lounge (1100 E Broadway). The crawl is free to join, but you gotta be 21 or older. Click here for more info.

And on Sunday, May 22 locals will be celebrating Pride at the Rainbow Lifeguard Tower (12th Place & Ocean Boulevard) with music, costumes and entertainment. Party starts at noon. Click here for more info.

For more info on all the events, click here.


Courtesy flyer.

The first annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Books Festival at the Billie Jean King Main Library is kicking off Saturday, May 21 with a day-long celebration of AAPI authors and literature from youth to adults.

The celebration has a full lineup of meet-and-greets, live readings, panels and lectures as well as live entertainment and demonstrations meant to honor and uplift the AAPI communities and cultures within Long Beach and beyond.  Click here for more information on programming.

The event is free to attend, but RSVP is highly recommended. Click here to register.

The Billie Jean King Main Library is at 200 W. Broadway.


Flyer courtesy Aquarium of the Pacific.

If you’re looking for a wholesome, family-friendly Pride experience, the Aquarium of the Pacific will be hosting a Pride Night celebration Saturday, May 21.

Attendees will be able to roam around the aquarium after-hours, which is an experience all its own, but will also feature a storytelling session by Pickle the Drag Queen and a demonstration by the aquarium’s Animal Ambassadors on the care that goes into tending to their many colorful fish.

There will be rainbow-themed photo ops and a live DJ, plus representatives from the LGBTQ Center Long Beach will be hanging out to share more information and offer resources about the work they do in Long Beach.

Entry is the price of general admission which is $24.95. Aquarium members can get in for $19.95. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is at 100 Aquarium Way.


Courtesy flyer.

Head on over to comic book store Pulp Fiction in the Zaferia neighborhood Saturday, May 21 to meet some of the comic book artists behind the very popular “Transformers Beast Wars” graphic novels.

In addition to meeting several of the artists, there will be “Transformers” art you can purchase by local comic book artists or the comic books themselves. The event is free to attend.

Click here for more information.

Pulp Fiction is at 3925 E. Anaheim St.



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A post shared by james darrah (@darrah_fawcett)

This weekend Long Beach Opera is debuting the first show of its spring and summer season with a new adaptation of Frederick Handel’s “Giustino,” a story about an ill-fated romance, long lost family relations and a not too friendly flesh-eating sea monster.

In true LBO fashion, the show will be experienced in an alternative setting—the sculpture garden and galleries at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA). The production is helmed by the LBO’s artistic director, James Darrah, who is well known for blending the digital and physical experiences of opera with a live audience.

Scenes within the performance will move among the audience and to different parts of the museum and will be live-filmed-to-video to create a movie within an opera playing at all times. Audiences will also hear a selection of new music adapted for the play by young composer Shelley Washington from Brooklyn.

The play debuts this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22. There will also be one last performance on May 28. Tickets start at $25. Click here for more information on the show and to purchase tickets.

The Museum of Latin American Art is at 628 Alamitos Ave.



Celebrate the grand finale of the 2021-22 Pops Season as the music of the Queen of Soul reigns supreme through the Long Beach Arena on Saturday, May 21st. Doors open at 6:30 for our legendary picnicking and libations experience. Show starts at 8pm.

Broadway powerhouse Capathia Jenkins and multi-talented actor, singer, dancer, and musician Matthew Johnson will share the stage with Maestro Eckart Preu as your Long Beach Symphony presents Aretha’s greatest hits, including the iconic “Respect”, “Think”, “A Natural Woman”, “Chain of Fools”, “Amazing Grace”, and many more! Come ready to enjoy an unforgettable evening of soul and dance!

Saturday, May 21, 8pm. Long Beach Arena. Single tickets starting at $30 at or 562-436-3203, ext. 1. Proof of vaccination is required; masks recommended.

Long Beach Arena Pacific Ballroom is at 300 E. Ocean Blvd.



OF THE PACIFIC (Wednesday, June 1)

Aspiring filmmakers from local high schools will be the “sea stars” of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s digital High Tide Film Festival Screening, where the community will be able to dive into their short films about the Pacific Ocean.

Winning entries will be streamed live online in the categories of ocean innovation, local treasures and coral reefs. “While data and discovery are the fuel of science, that science only changes the world with personal stories and the sort of human connection that art provides,” said Aquarium of the Pacific President and CEO Dr. Peter Karejva.

The free live streaming of the films from 7 to 8 p.m., as well as an in-person community event and award ceremony, takes place Wednesday, June 1. The event is sponsored by Dr. Allen Charlotte Ginsburg. Visit for details.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is at 100 Aquarium Way.

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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.