Things to do in Long Beach this weekend including… holiday festivities galore
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.
The lights are twinkling, decorations are hung and the Christmas tunes are nearly inescapable: The holidays are here, and Long Beach is celebrating everywhere. This weekend, we’ve found a couple of staple holiday events to check out, including the lauded “Nutcracker” by the Long Beach Ballet and the “A Christmas Carol” radio show by the Long Beach Shakespeare Company.
We’ve also found an ugly sweater pub crawl and an inclusive holiday concert by South Coast Chorale. Plus, there’s a new cocktail competition featuring local bartenders making unique drinks out of Fernet-Branca.
Get to scrollin’!
“A CHRISTMAS CAROL” RADIO SHOW (Friday – Sunday)
Hear the 1939 radio rendition of “A Christmas Carol,” where American actor Lionel Barrymore voices Ebenezer Scrooge during this special radio-style live showing by the Long Beach Shakespeare Company.
For decades this radio story, which was produced by Orson Welles for his Campbell’s Playhouse—which is what The Mercury Theatre on the Radio became after “The War of the Worlds” broadcast—was aired live every Christmas Eve.
If you’re a bit of a podcast junkie, this showing at the Helen Borgers Theatre from Friday, Dec. 16, through Sunday, Dec. 18, ought to prove a nice reprieve from your usual listening station, otherwise known as your car.
Tickets cost $13. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Show starts at 8 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.
The Helen Borgers Theatre is at 4250 Atlantic Ave.
LONG BEACH BALLET’S “THE NUTCRACKER” (Friday – Sunday)
Back for its 40th year, the Long Beach Ballet brings Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to the Long Beach Terrace Theater again in one of the most dazzling performances of the season.
With a production that includes a flying sleigh, a live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics, a full symphony orchestra and a cast of over 250 dancers, it’s easy to understand why the Long Beach Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” was named Best-Loved Nutcracker by Goldstar audiences in both 2018 and 2019.
The show will be available for both evening and matinee performances starting Friday, Dec. 16, through Sunday, Dec. 18. Tickets range from $35-$125. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
The Long Beach Terrace Theater is at 300 E. Ocean Blvd.
5TH ANNUAL PAROL LANTERN FESTIVAL (Saturday)
The 5th annual Long Beach Parol Lantern Festival is set to return, this time at KUBO in Bixby Knolls, where the community may share in the Filipino tradition of lighting star-shaped lanterns during the Christmas season.
The Parol is a five-point star, which is traditionally made from bamboo and paper. It’s intended to represent the Star of Bethlehem that led three wise men to Jesus and symbolizes finding light in the dark.
Lanterns are expected to be lit during the event, which will also include cultural experiences through live entertainment, music, dance and food. Attendees will also be able to create their own Parols.
The free event is from 2-8 p.m. Click here for more information.
KUBO is at 345 E. Carson St.
UGLY SWEATER PUB CRAWL (Saturday)
Pull out those ghastly Christmas sweaters for the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl Saturday, Dec. 17, a traveling drinking adventure where guests can enjoy the libations and holiday specials from five Downtown restaurants and bars in full festive eye-sore splendor.
The crawl begins at Portuguese Bend Distilling and continues on a rotation to Milana’s New York Pizzeria, Agaves Ultra Lounge, Shannon’s Sports Pub and The Harbor. Tickets for the event cost $12 and include free entry to all the locations as well as food and drink specials. There will also be games and contests, including a contest for the ugliest Christmas sweater.
Click here for more information on the event and to purchase tickets. Must be 21 years or older to participate.
Portuguese Bend Distilling is at 300 The Promenade North.
SOUTH COAST CHORALE’S HAPPY HOLIDAY CONCERT (Saturday)
The South Coast Chorale, fondly known as the LGBTQ Chorus of Long Beach, returns for another holiday show and this year, for the first time, it’s at the Beverly O’Neill Theater in Downtown.
The concert has been designed to feel like an old-fashioned holiday TV show with a guest host, live band, comedy, story sharing and, of course, the harmonious voices that make up the South Coast Chorale.
Tickets for the show on Saturday, Dec. 17, range from $25-$60 and may be purchased online. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
The Beverly O’Neill Theater is at 300 E. Ocean Blvd.
CHRISTMAS AT THE MARKET (Sunday)
A visit to our local farmers’ markets is always a pleasant experience any day of the week, but this Sunday, Dec. 18, the farmers market at 5000 E. Spring St. near the Long Beach Airport will include a few festive holiday experiences, including a Santa Claus meet-and-greet and Christmas carolers from the Long Beach Children’s Theater.
There will also be face painting and other activities for children. The event is free to attend, and Santa Claus will be visiting from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Click here for more information.
The Farmers Marketplace of Long Beach is at 5000 E. Spring St.
FERNET-BRANCA LONG BEACH BARTENDERS COCKTAIL COMPETITION (Sunday)
Four local bartenders are going head-to-head in a Fernet-Branca cocktail competition you can watch at Roxanne’s bar in California Heights on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Organizers of the sanctioned event put out a call to local bartenders from across the city in late November to submit an original Long Beach-inspired cocktail recipe featuring the Italian amaro liqueur. From over 20 submissions, four bartenders were selected to compete. Those bartenders are Frank Andre from Port City Tavern, Sonny Esponda from The Social List, Omar Flores from Portuguese Bend Distilling and Heather Ramirez of Made by Meg Catering Co.
Guests will be able to check out the competition in the Exhibition Room at Roxanne’s Bar, which starts at 1 p.m. Judging will be done by our local bartenders guild and alcohol brand rep influencers. Meanwhile, guests can enjoy Fernet-Branca cocktails, including recipes from some of the other runner-up bartenders who submitted to the competition. There will also be some Fernet-infused foods to try.
The event is free to attend (food and drinks are not) and opens at 11 a.m.
Roxanne’s Bar is at 1115 E. Wardlow Road.
SPONSORED BY BLUE DIAMOND JEWELER
JEWELRY STORE INVITES SHOPPERS TO SPARKLE FOR CHRISTMAS – BLUE DIAMOND JEWELER (Saturday & Sunday)
Whether you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime engagement ring or a glittery token of affection to tuck under the Christmas tree, Blue Diamond Jeweler is hosting a special in-store shopping event this weekend, Saturday and Sunday Dec. 17-18 from noon to 7pm.
“I don’t think of myself as being in the metal and stone business. I see myself as having the privilege to participate in a very special and sacred part of a person’s life journey,” said business owner Altaf Amiani, who learned about the jewelry industry from his father before opening his own company, Blue Diamond Jeweler.
Blue Diamond Jeweler has provided customers with sparking high-end, affordable jewelry since 1974 with three different convenient Southern California locations, including one on Second Street in Belmont Shore.
Blue Diamond Jeweler is at 4814 Second St. bluediamondjeweler.com
SPONSORED BY THE LONG BEACH CAMERATA SINGERS
LONG BEACH CAMERATA SINGERS ANNUAL HANDEL’S “MESSIAH” CONCERT (Thursday, Dec. 22)
Your holiday is not complete until you experience the magic of Long Beach Camerata Singers’ annual Handel’s “Messiah” concert!
“This concert is our most popular annual event, featuring a mixture of arias and choruses that are melodic, rhythmic and accessible to the listener,” Camerata President Jan Hower said. “The pandemic showed us the importance of community gatherings to greet our neighbors, to share live performance and celebrate the beauty of this musical masterpiece.”
The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 22 at the Beverly O’Neill Theater (300 E. Ocean Blvd.). A pre-concert conversation about the music will begin at 6:30 p.m. Give the gift of music this season with tickets to the event starting at $40 at LongBeachCamerataSingers.org.
SPONSORED BY THE PIKE OUTLETS
PHOTOS WITH SANTA AT THE PIKE OUTLETS (Saturday & Sunday)
Bring home the magic of the season with a keepsake photo with Santa at The Pike Outlets.
Santa and his helpers can be found near the Main Plaza of the Pike Outlets Saturday-Sunday, December 17-18 from 1-5 p.m. and
Friday-Saturday, December 23-24 from 1-5 p.m.
For more information including photo package pricing please visit the Pike website, here. RSVP so Santa knows you are coming.
The Pike Outlets is at 95 S. Pine Ave.
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