Beach Streets Open Streets, the beloved annual event that bars cars and other motorized wheels for one day, will return to Downtown on May 20, city officials announced Thursday.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., thousands are expected to take over sprawling stretches of Long Beach’s main corridors by foot, bicycle, scooter, skateboard, what-have-you.
Here is the route:
- Pine Avenue from Sixth Street to First Street.
- Broadway from Pine Street to Euclid Avenue.
- Linden Avenue from Broadway to First Street.
- First Street from Linden Avenue to Elm.
- Cherry from Broadway to Fourth Street.
- Fourth Street from Cherry to Junipero.
Beginning at 6 a.m., parking will not be allowed anywhere along the route. Businesses along the route are encouraged to increase staff compared to an average Saturday. In previous years, the event has drawn some 40,000 people, according to the city.
Other than the novelty of traipsing car-free streets, the event will also offer a music festival; a Block Party Hub with a beer garden and live entertainment; a kid zone with carnival games, face painting, a rock wall and more; skateboard demos and lessons provided by Skate Dogs and Keen Ramps and more live entertainment at Bixby Park hosted by Long Beach Proud!.
The lineup for the music festival has not been released yet.
At noon Mayor Rex Richardson, Councilmember Cindy Allen, Councilmember Mary Zendejas and officials from LA Metro will take the main stage at the intersection of Broadway and Euclid Avenue to welcome attendees.
“Year after year, Beach Streets continues to provide safe, recreational fun for people of all ages while also promoting traffic safety and sustainability and supporting our local businesses,” Richardson wrote in a statement.
Before the pandemic placed the event on a two-year hiatus, Beach Streets had taken place every May since its inaugural event in 2015. Last year, it was held in September in East Long Beach, which attracted tens of thousands of people eager to hit the streets.
In previous years, the event has been held in Cambodia Town, Uptown, Zaferia, Wrigley, Willmore and the stretch of roadway where the Grand Prix race track is normally constructed.
“We’re so excited for Beach Streets’ return to Downtown Long Beach this year,” Zendejas, of District 1, said. “I encourage everyone to come out, support local businesses and experience the beauty of Long Beach through active transportation!”
Attendees are urged to use public transportation, or bike or walk to and from the event. Vehicle parking will be available for two hours of free parking at the City Place parking structures off Pine Avenue between Third Street and Sixth Street.
Those interested in volunteering for the event must be 18 years or older and can register here.
Beach Streets Downtown kicks off May 20 at 11 a.m. and will end at 5 p.m. A map and more information can be found here.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the location for the welcome ceremony.