Four years ago, the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) created the Spirit of Downtown Awards at its inaugural Celebrate Downtown event to honor four influential individuals that the Long Beach community had lost in 2012: Larry Allison, the well-respected Editor of the Press-Telegram, Bill Baker, who served as Chair of the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency, and Mark Bixby, DLBA Director and the city’s cycling sage who largely spearheaded the implementation of Long Beach’s bicyclist-friendly infrastructure, and lastly, our very own Shaun Lumachi, who founded the Long Beach Post.
This year’s Celebrate Downtown event will be held at the Pike Outlets on Thursday, February 25 from 5:00PM to 9:00PM, as the tradition continues to honor the members of the community who have accomplished incredible achievements in the past, while looking ahead toward a fruitful and promising future.
Honorees include Don Darnauer, a resident of Pine Avenue since the early '90s, a 30-year US Coast Guard veteran and a DTLB champion, as stated in the announcement, and interTrend Communications founder Julia Huang, who played an integral and leading role in bringing the internationally renowned artist collective POW! WOW! to Long Beach.
Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, who has been serving the 2nd Council District and DTLB for a decade and ends her term in June, will be topping off the ceremony with a special presentation. Lowenthal’s influence has altered the landscape of DTLB and Long Beach as a whole, from solidifying our city’s bicycling culture as one of the most respected in the nation to guiding the new Civic Center project.
“Each of these individuals has brought forth significant shifts in the culture of our Downtown,” said Kraig Kojian, President and CEO of the DLBA, in a statement. “In a sense, each have been part of a defining era of Downtown’s progress: from watching it grow out into the new millennium, to seeing it become a political force to be reckoned with, to witnessing artists understand its place as a cultural mecca. The contributions that Don, Julia and the Vice Mayor have made are essential cogs in making Downtown Long Beach what it is and what its future holds.”
Celebrate Downtown 2016 will feature beverages from DTLB’s Auld Dubliner, including craft beer and wine, while Famous Dave’s will provide the delicious grub. Live music featuring bands from the DLBA’s Live After 5 series will be announced.
The Pike Outlets is located at 95 South Pine Avenue.