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.
Although we’re pretty certain what much of Long Beach will be up to this weekend (ahem, Pride), we couldn’t help but include the return of one of the city’s largest events. But in addition to the Long Beach Pride Festival and Parade returning, we’ve also found some events worth checking out that are great for kids, ideal for some weekend unwinding, or even worth a little getaway to that island just across the way.
Get to scrollin’!
FIRST FRIDAYS AT THE MUSEUM: DINNER AND A MOVIE WITH ELVIS (Friday)
The Catalina Museum for Art and History is bringing back one of its most popular events, with a double dose of Elvis Presley entertainment on Friday, Aug. 4.
The night begins with a Vegas-style buffet and a concert by one of the best Elvis singers and impersonators, James Kruck. Following the show, guests will then catch a screening of the documentary, “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is.” The film, if you’ve never seen it, gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look at Presley’s return to the stage in the 1970s.
The whole event runs for about four hours (from 6-10 p.m.) and costs $45 (dinner is included in the ticket price). Discounted tickets, at $35, are available for museum members. Click here for more information and to register for the event.
The Catalina Museum for Art and History is at 217 Metropole Ave.
ZEN YOGA IN THE GARDEN (Friday)
The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden has begun hosting bi-weekly yoga sessions, and it’s easily one of the best places to get into the practice.
For one, the garden is a beautiful and serene pocket of land tucked away on the northwest side of the Cal State Long Beach campus. But also, the hour-long sessions are led by a certified yoga instructor and reiki master teacher with 16 years of experience, who is known for incorporating Japanese knowledge of reiki and chakras in all her classes.
These classes are open to all levels and cost $15. Cal State Long Beach students, staff, faculty and garden members may sign up for $10. Catch the next one on Friday, Aug. 4, from noon to 1 p.m. Click here for more information.
The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located on Earl Warren Drive on the Cal State Long Beach campus. For easiest access, enter the campus from the Bellflower Boulevard entrance. Parking is not validated by the garden.
LGBTQ+ MURAL UNVEILING AND CELEBRATION (Saturday)
A new mural celebrating the LGBTQ+ community is being unveiled at Bixby Park Saturday, Aug. 5, and locals are invited to come check out the new mural, celebrate Pride in Long Beach and enjoy a host of activities and entertainment to commemorate the occasion.
The new mural at the Bixby Park Community Center, titled “Long Beach Embrace,” was painted by local Mexican-American queer artist Myisha Arellano and shows two women embraced in a hug. Inside the massive artwork are a number of scenes depicting pivotal moments in LBGTQ+ history—so make sure to get an up-close look.
The artwork was created as part of a solidarity campaign by LA vs. Hate, a community-centered organization created by the county in response to increasing hate crimes here and around the country. Several county and city officials, including Mayor Rex Richardson and Rep. Robert Garcia, will be in attendance to speak out about the meaning and relevance behind the new mural.
After the press conference, there will be a community celebration with drag performances, food and other entertainment. The event is from 9 a.m. to noon and is free to attend. Click here for more information.
Bixby Park is at 130 Cherry Ave.
A SUMMER EXPERIENCE: POP-UP ARCADE (Saturday)
On Saturday, Aug. 5, Grace United Methodist Church will transform into a mini-arcade for children to enjoy.
A variety of game systems, from the Play Station 5 to the retro Nintendo 64 (even some virtual reality games) will be open for play. Plus, kids will also be able to toy with other games such as giant Jenga, cornhole, basket-pong, bubble balls and more.
The event will be running nearly all day. Playtime is sold in two separate sessions for children (1-4 p.m. and 4-7 p.m.), and there’s one adult session from 7-10 p.m. that will also feature a live DJ and some gaming tournaments. Each three-hour session costs $20.
This event was created by RiseLBC and Mr. Brand New Game Rental with the intention of creating a safe space for kids (and adults) to have some fun, make some friends and get to know their peers. To purchase tickets, click here.
Grace United Methodist Church is at 2325 E. Third St.
LONG BEACH PRIDE FESTIVAL & PARADE (Saturday & Sunday)
Long Beach Pride is finally arriving this weekend and is ready to celebrate big for its 40th anniversary.
The festival portion will be taking place in Downtown at Marina Green Park on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6, with full days of music performances and drag shows, plus tons of pop-ups, activations, food and drinks. The concerts will be spread across four stages, with headlining acts including Grammy Award-winning artist Mya and actress/singer Laura León.
Then on Sunday, the annual Pride Parade will return with crowds descending on Ocean Boulevard to catch the decked-out floats, cars and colorful procession. The parade, which starts at 10 a.m., will begin on Ocean Boulevard at Linden Avenue and travel south to Alamitos Avenue, where it will end.
Marina Green Park is at 386 E Shoreline Drive.
“I’D RATHER BE LIGHTNING” BOOK LAUNCH AND POETRY READING (Sunday)
If you’re at all tapped into the local poetry and literature scene, there’s a fair chance the name Nancy Lynée Woo has appeared on your radar. A longtime organizer and advocate for creating spaces to celebrate local literature, Woo is also an avid writer who has just recently published her first full-length book of poems “I’d Rather be Lightning” with Gasher Press.
To celebrate the occasion, Woo is hosting a book launch at Wrigley Coffee where she’ll share pages from her new work alongside several other local writers including Long Beach’s first Youth Poet Laureate, Claire Beeli.
The poems in Woo’s new book center largely on topics of climate change and the growing perils of our ecosystems, but with a healthy dose of humor and hope. Poet Laureate Claire Beeli’s performance portion will speak on Long Beach’s contentious relationship with oil. Many of the other guest speakers will be reading their own eco-related works or are activists who will share information about some of the environmental issues in Long Beach.
Attendees are also invited to take part in writing a group poem and sign a petition to halt new drilling proposals by Signal Hill Petroleum. Plus, those who show up before 6 p.m. (the event starts at 5 p.m.) will receive one raffle ticket with prizes including a selection of hand-picked books by Woo.
The “I’d Rather Be Lightning” book launch is free to attend and runs until 8 p.m. Click here for more information.
Wrigley Coffee is at 437 W. Willow St.