The annual Long Beach LGBTQ+ Pride parade is returning to its normal May date in 2024, and, in a shift from prior years, the city will likely be footing a bill of more than $100,000 to help produce the event.

Councilmember Cindy Allen, who represents the area that includes the parade route along Ocean Boulevard, asked for the city to find funds to help support the parade this week.

Allen said Long Beach Pride, the nonprofit that has produced the parade for decades, is restructuring. In addition, moving the parade to May, instead of the August date that was used in 2023, added further strain.

“It did place a heavy burden on the organization because there’s a lot to do in a shorter timeframe to put this all together,” Allen said Tuesday.

Allen said she intends to contribute $50,000 of her discretionary district funds to help support the event but that won’t be enough to cover the total cost.

City Manager Tom Modica said Wednesday that he expects the parade will cost the city around $130,000, including the contribution from Allen’s office. Modica expects to come back to the council soon with a proposal outlining where the rest of the funding would come from.

The parade has been held in the city for 40 years and is one of the largest in the state. The event has evolved over the decades with the original parade route moving from the Broadway corridor, where the city is currently planning an LGBTQ+ cultural district, to Ocean Boulevard as the event grew.

But the parade has faced uncertainty in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events and then the 2022 and 2023 parades were moved to August instead of their traditional date in May.

The 40th Pride parade was held Aug. 6, but after a push from the community to move the event back to its traditional slot, organizers agreed to move the 2024 event to the weekend of May 18.

Allen’s letter to the council mentioned various setbacks the organization has suffered due to the pandemic as well as the recent deaths of founding members. Bob Crow, the last of the original founders, died in September from lung cancer.

However, financial issues for the organization had cropped up before the pandemic.

The nonprofit had previously asked the city for help in 2018, pointing to declining revenues and rising city fees for security, parking and other things it pays for to put on the event. However, city management did not provide a break on fees, instead recommended the event be scaled back and moved to a different date so it wouldn’t compete with other larger regional events held in the same month.

In an email, Tonya Martin, the president of Long Beach Pride’s executive committee, said the organization was not facing any trouble and the request for aid had originally been made during a town hall held last year.

“Of course, moving up the date gave the organization less time to complete all the tasks required and we need all hands on deck to ensure that the event continues to support all of Long Beach,” Martin said. “Being that the city supports other parades like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dia de Los Muertos, we contacted them requesting assistance this year as to adjust with the process of the date change.”

Martin did not elaborate on the setbacks Allen mentioned in her letter but said that manpower was the main concern with the parade being moved up.

While council members were supportive of helping fund the parade this year, some mentioned that there needs to be a plan for the future so it can go on without city funding.

“We should all understand that this is what we’re doing this year,” Mayor Rex Richardson said. “We’re stepping up, it’s been historically run by Long Beach Pride, but this year, we’re stepping up to manage the parade and we’ll figure out what the long-term plans are moving forward.”

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.