Things to do in Long Beach this weekend including…. finger puppets and a circus

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.

If you’re in need of some entertainment for the long weekend we’ve got you covered. From a traveling circus that’s in town, to a holiday show featuring puppets, to a giant gingerbread display, there’s plenty to check out this weekend.

Get to scrollin’!


Entrants dressed as pumpkin pies at the 16th annual Turkey Trot Run/Walk in Long Beach, Thursday November 22, 2018. Photo by Kelly Smiley.

It’s not too late to sign-up for the annual Long Beach Turkey Trot, where bright and early on the morning of Thanksgiving people show up to the pedestrian bike path in Belmont Shore to burn off a couple hundred calories before the fateful feast—and all in the name of charity.

The morning 5K and 10K run (you choose how far you’d like to go) is both hosted by Justin Rudd and benefits his non-profit, Community Action Team (CAT). The $40 registration fee goes toward funding CAT’s myriad community events such as the Miss Long Beach Pageants, Haute Dog Howloween Parade and more.

Attendees are encouraged to dress up in festive fall costumes (except not as Native Americans) for the run and bring a canned good or two for a drive to benefit the AIDS Food Store in Long Beach.

The first leg of the run starts at 7 a.m.; the second at 8:30 a.m. There’s also a children’s “wing-ding” run, at 9:40 a.m. for kids ages 8-12 and another at 9:45 a.m. for children 7 and younger.

For more information and to register online, click here.


An aerial acrobat from Circus Vargas. Photo courtesy Circus Vargas.

California’s traveling circus act, Circus Vargas, has pitched its big top at the Lakewood Center this month, inviting locals to check out its new show, “Mr. V’s Big Top Dream.”

The show, Circus Vargas says, is inspired by Clifford E. Vargas, who founded the circus in 1969. It’s a semi-autobiographical show honoring the late businessman, but promises all the acrobats, flying trapeze artists, clowns and daredevil stunts that have secured the roaming circus its status as one of the best traveling circuses around.

Tickets range from $18-$70, click here for more information and to purchase tickets. Circus Vargas will be in town until Nov. 29. Attendees are required to wear masks while in the big top.

Lakewood Center is at 500 Lakewood Center Mall.


Flyer courtesy Long Beach Shakespeare Company.

The Long Beach Shakespeare Company, the city’s resident non-profit theater arts organization, is kicking off its holiday season Friday, Nov. 26 “Christmas Classics With Puppets” a production that highlights the many forms of puppetry used through the centuries through musical renditions of classic holiday stories.

Three actors will sing and perform “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” “The Origin of Poinsettias,” “The Happy Prince” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” while using hand puppets, rod puppets, marionettes, lever puppets and shadow puppets.

Shows will be at the Helen Borgers Theatre and begin Friday, Nov. 26 and will run until Dec. 12 on the weekends. Tickets cost $23 ($13 if you’re a student and provide ID). Click here to purchase tickets and for more information. Attendees are required to wear a mask while inside the theater.

Helen Borgers Theatre is at 4250 Atlantic Ave. 


Isaac Salgado’s gingerbread village at Long Beach Coffee & Tea in Downtown Long Beach. Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. Photo by Valerie Osier.

Every year since 2013 master gingerbread maker Issac Salgado spends over 300 hours crafting an enormous gingerbread village to display in a Downtown business. This year, Modica’s Deli has been granted its holiday home, and visitors may come see the culinary architecture, comprised of over 350 pounds of powdered sugar, flour, hard candy and chocolate, beginning Saturday, Nov. 27 until Dec. 31.

Saturday’s opening day will allow viewing from noon to 9 p.m. Consequent viewing hours will coincide with the deli’s business hours. Click here for more information.

A second gingerbread display has also been added at the Bembridge House, which can be viewed as part of the annual holiday tours at the historic home. Tours begin Nov. 30 and cost $15 (daytime tour) and $25 (for evening tour). Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Modica’s Deli is at 455 E. Ocean Blvd. The Bembridge House is at 953 Park Circle.


A plate of Yakitori skewers from Bamboo Club. Photo courtesy Bamboo Club.

Late nights at Zaferia District’s tiki bar, Bamboo Club, now include a special Yakitori menu, just released last week.

The new menu offers five varieties of the popular Japanese-style skewer. Three meat options (chicken, pork belly, beef tenderloin) a veggie skewer and a vegan option with trumpet mushrooms and chives. All skewers are served with a Yakitori sauce.

The menu is available Thursday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Bamboo Club will be open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, however the kitchen will be closed. So, try out the new menu Friday or Saturday.

Bamboo Club is at 3522 E. Anaheim St.


In this file photo: A crowd of more than 500 people showed up for the lighting of a 12-foot menorah on the advent of Hanukkah, Sunday, December 22, 2019. The festivities took place at the 2nd & PCH shopping center in Long Beach. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

Celebrate the first day of the Jewish holiday Hannukah, with a ceremonial lighting of a 12-foot menorah Sunday, Nov. 28 at 2nd & PCH.

The event, organized by Rabbi Abba Perelmuter from local synagogue Shul by the Shore, is part of a worldwide Hanukkah campaign and is one of more than 15,000 large public menorah lightings sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world. So, it’s a pretty big deal.

Mayor Robert Garcia will be in attendance and will speak following the lighting. A three-piece band will provide live music, and other entertainment includes a stilt walker, crafts for children, and light refreshments.

The lighting will be at 4 p.m. and the event runs until 6 p.m. The celebration is free to attend.

2nd & PCH is at 6400 Pacific Coast Highway.


A group of female rollerskaters skate on pavement. Photo courtesy Pedal Movement/Facebook.

Grab your skates and roll out to Junipero Beach Sunday, Nov. 28 from 4-7 p.m. for a free sunset skate session hosted by Pedal Movement with tunes provided by DJ Cash.

If you don’t have skates you can reserve a $10 (an hour) rental from Pedal Movement, click here for more info.

Sunday Roller Disco will be at the Junipero Beach basketball courts at 1 Junipero Ave.



Photo courtesy Independence at Home.

After raising her own children, Mabel, 74 became a single grandparent to two teenage grandsons.

Mabel yearned to stay connected to friends and family, but didn’t want to burden her grandsons by asking for their help with technology. Mabel expressed interest in learning to use email, scheduling appointments on her calendar, setting an alarm on her phone for medication reminders and searching for line dancing for seniors.

Mabel was matched with a Cyber Senior volunteer from Independence at Home’s Volunteer Action for Aging (VAA) program, who provided her with 1:1 instruction on using technology. With the volunteer’s help, Mabel set up email and social media accounts to help keep her connected to her loved ones.

Do you know someone like Mabel? Or, are you a technology expert with time to help seniors in your local community? For more information on Cyber Senior, call 562-637-7169 or email: [email protected].

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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.