Things to do in Long Beach this weekend including…pirates and a summertime horror convention

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, of course, was in no way planned, but if you’re milling around Downtown this weekend there’s a chance you may come across a person dressed up as a pirate or some kind of spooky creature. This is because Long Beach is hosting a horror convention and a pirate festival. Yup, only in Long Beach.

Also to check out this weekend is a local exhibition, a retro-styled artwalk and market, plus some free entry over at the Catalina Island Museum, if you want to make the trip.

Get to scrollin’!


Teresa Calleros of Montebello poses with horror movie characters “Jason” and Freddy Krueger during Midsummer Scream at the Long Beach Convention Center. Photo by John Valenzuela/ Correspondent.

The annual convention that brings all the spook and scare to the sunniest months of the year is back at the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend, July 29-31, with horror-themed vendors, presentations from creative professionals, entertainment and more.

The convention is a large-scale gathering attracting thousands of Halloween fanatics, horror enthusiasts and industry professionals. Attendees can check out mazes, onsite haunts and heaps of “dark” live entertainment. It’s also a fine place to stock up on all your Halloween-related wants, with over 350 vendors selling horror-themed apparel, home decor, special effects makeup, masks and costumes. Cosplay and costume is, of course, very welcomed.

Tickets start at $32. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

The Long Beach Convention Center is at 300 E. Ocean Blvd.


Courtesy flyer.

Take a four-hour cruise around the Long Beach Harbor to the soundtrack of the ’90s, with Nine Inch Sails.

The cruise features two dance stages with DJs spinning Nine Inch Nails favorites and deep cuts plus 90s alternative classics, goth anthems and industrial party jams.

Tickets are $40. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. Must be 21 or older to attend.

Catalina Classic Cruises is at 1046 Queens Highway.



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Gift and accessories shop Dainty Disco is hosting its first artwalk in North Long Beach Saturday, July 30, where over 15 artists will have their works set up outside the shop.

The art will include wares from traditional art pieces to home goods, jewelry and accessories, all from local artists and makers.

The artwalk, which is from noon to 4 p.m., is free to attend. Click here for more information on Dainty Disco and the artwalk.

Dainty Disco is at 5659 Atlantic Ave.


Art by Keith Magruder. Photo courtesy Violet Tinder Studios.

Photography studio, Violent Tinder Studios, is hosting an exhibition featuring the works of local artist Keith Magruder (known under the moniker Baker’s Son), a mixed-media artist best known for his paintings and sculptures made entirely from watercolor and paper.

His newest exhibition “Get Home Safe” explores themes of race in America, nostalgia and inter-generational stories through recreated childhood items.

A highlight of Magruder’s exhibition is a quilt he recreated from his grandmother. Using watercolor and paper, Magruder crafted squares with patterns used in the Underground Railroad to communicate with runaway slaves seeking freedom. Within those patterns are also details from his childhood, such as cartoon character fabrics Magruder’s grandmother used to craft quits.

Opening day is Saturday, July 30 from 2-9 p.m. The show is free to attend.

Violent Tinder Studios is at 3300 E. Broadway.


Nicole Hanley waves a pirate flag near the lighthouse during the 12th annual Pirate Invasion of Long Beach at Shoreline Aquatic Park on Saturday, June 29, 2019. Photo by Bill Alkofer.

On Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31, hundreds of pirates will be taking over the Queen Mary Events Park in a weekend filled with live entertainment, ale guzzling and general revelry to befit the plundering scallywags.

Pirate Invasion‘s return comes after a two-year hiatus since the pandemic and the buccaneers are coming back with more activities, unique drinks, and entertainment. Attendees can expect sword-fighting shows, musket battles, cannon blasts, plus heaps of live music. There will also be photo opportunities, a market with pirate-themed vendors, and a costume contest where the winners will be crowned the Duke and Duchess of the Pirate Invasion.

The event is all-ages, but those who want to drink must be 21 years or older. Tickets range from $5 for children to $75 for VIP packages. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

The Queen Mary Events Park (also known as the Harry Bridges Memorial Park) is at 1126 Queens Highway.


A third-grader looks at a Banning artifact at the Catalina Museum of Art and History. Photo courtesy Catalina Museum of Art and History.

Catalina Island’s resident museum is offering free admission to families Sunday, July 31, where guests can check out the museum’s special exhibitions and permanent collection of fine art and artifacts from and related to the island. What’s also great about the museum is its spacious (about 8,000 square feet) outdoor, open-air plazas and sculpture garden.

If you needed an excuse to visit, aside from the snorkel-friendly waters and a lovely dining scene, rounding out a trip with a visit to the museum ought to add that extra something to your day-long excursion.

Entry is free for up to two adults accompanying a minor(s) age 17 or younger.

Catalina Museum of Art and History is at 217 Metropole Ave., Avalon.



Marine wildlife photographer Mike Bartick brings the darkest depths of the world’s oceans into the light for those of us on land to see. The award-winning artist and diving instructor based in the Philippines finds, observes and captures images of creatures such as zooplankton, blanket octopus and squid.

During the First Wednesdays event series at the Aquarium of the Pacific, Bartick, who is a professional photographer for, will showcase his curiosity-driven photographs and share some of his experiences encountering critters from around the globe.

The free event from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, in the Honda Pacific Theater, will include a cash bar cocktail hour with live music following the presentation. Reservations are required and may be made online or by calling 562-590-3100. The presentation also will be livestreamed.

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.