Any young people wanting to learn how to manage a budget, paint a mural or squeeze in a yoga session will have their chance this Saturday as part of a new youth festival in Long Beach.

Intended to serve people between the ages of 12 to 24, the Long Beach Youth Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Houghton Community Center in North Long Beach.

“For me, this is a really big deal,” said Christopher Covington, outreach and engagement coordinator for the youth festival, who added that this festival is an example that the city is committing to invest in Long Beach’s youth.

Covington first became involved with a nonprofit at age 15, helping paint a mural at the Colorado Lagoon. Now at age 30, they (Covington’s preferred gender pronouns) said their work in Long Beach is now coming full circle.

“For me, this is like a dream come true,” they said.

Live entertainment for the event will include performances from the Long Beach City College jazz band, an African drum group, hula dancers, a live DJ and poets, organizers said. Other activities include painting stand-up murals and yoga.

The festival will feature morning and lunchtime panels led by the city’s emerging Office of Youth Development and Commission on Youth and Families, respectively, which will be centered around readjusting to life after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and youth leadership in the city, organizers said.

“Being at home has really taken a toll on their mental health,” Covington said, referring to stay-at-home orders for schools citywide over the past year.

The second panel will feature young people who sit on governing bodies with city or local organizations. They will speak on how to become more politically engaged.

Between the entertainment and panels, the facilitators will host eight workshops topics including financial literacy, self-care and wellness, housing rights and social connectedness, Covington said. Local organizations and city departments will also appear at the event as part of a resource fair.

Organizers said that the festival will take place outdoors and indoors within the park’s facilities with social distancing measures in place and PPE offered during the festival. Taboon Mediterranean, a local restaurant, will provide 150 individually packaged meals that include meat and vegan options. Parents are welcome.

Ana Lopez, a community impact division officer with the city’s health department, said that her team plans to host the festival at a different location each year. It’ll be a space to network and build community among the city’s young people and their families, she said.

Eli Romero, ​​special projects officer for the Economic Development Department, who helped write the plan the idea with Lopez, said that that this inaugural festival served as a way for young people to share an “optimistic lens” on what resources they want to see in their city.

“They bring a perspective that’s always refreshing and honest,” Romero said.

To register for this free event, visit For more information, call 562-570-3762 for more information.

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