Community News

Aquarium Reopens

The Aquarium of the Pacific is now open at 25 percent capacity to the public. Guests can now journey into the aquarium’s three main galleries, which have been closed to the public since summer 2020.

In the Southern California/Baja Gallery, you can meet giant sea bass, leopard sharks, eels, seals, sea lions, white abalone and other animals found locally or in Baja. Then, visitors can explore the cold-water habitats of the Northern Pacific Gallery to meet playful sea otters, diving birds, sea jellies, giant spider crabs and a giant Pacific octopus. Guests can then travel through the Tropical Pacific Gallery to see colorful fish and other species that inhabit those warm tropical waters.

In the aquarium’s Pacific Visions area, they can also explore an art gallery, orientation gallery, Honda Pacific Visions Theater and the Schubel Family Culmination Gallery, which features interactives displays, educational game tables and live animal exhibits. Pacific Visions is the aquarium’s newest expansion, which opened to the public in May 2019. Pacific Visions also has features developed last spring that most members of the public have never seen before such as the Paint a Fish interactive multimedia exhibit.

As part of its safety protocols, the aquarium is limiting the number of visitors, requiring advance timed reservations for everyone and managing traffic flow to ensure appropriate social distancing. The aquarium also requires masks for everyone age two and older and temperature checks for everyone. Visitors will find numerous hand-sanitizing stations throughout the facility, aquarium staff constantly sanitizing all touched surface and clear partitions in key areas where staff interact with guests, such as the main entrance, member services and retail areas.

Benefit Concert Series

Musical Theatre West’s (MTW) virtual benefit concert series “2021 Keep the Lights On,” continues its nine-concert streaming series with Terron Brooks (March 18 - March 28); Cynthia Ferrer & Randy Rogel (April 1 – 11); Jason Graae: Perfect Hermany (April 15 – 25); David Burnham (April 29 - May 9); Anna Mintzer (May 13 – 23); A Celebration of Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May 27 - June 6); Grasan Kingsberry (June 10 – 20); and David Engel, Larry Raben & Bets Malone (June 24 - July 4).

Enjoy all concerts from the comfort of your own home $27.50 per concert. MTW has partnered with Stellar to bring you the latest in streaming technology, available to stream via computer, Amazon Fire, Apple TV or Roku devices. All proceeds benefit Musical Theatre West. For tickets go to www.musical.org.

Musical Theatre West is recognized as one of Southern California’s preeminent regional theatre companies for the past six decades, producing productions of Broadway’s best and rarely toured musicals. Additionally, the organization provides much-needed free arts programming in schools and the

Low-Cost Youth Programs

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department (PRM) will offer more sessions beginning April 12 through June 18 for four important programs that safely engage youth, including the Mobile Recess Program, After School Camps, Community Learning Hubs and the Virtual After School Program. Registration for these free and low-cost sessions begins on Friday, March 26.

For additional information about these programs and other activities for youth, visit longbeach.gov/parks or call (562) 570-3150.

Opportunity Drawing

Steel Magnolias, an all-volunteer Long Beach-based organization whose main recipient is the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center at Millers Children’s and Women’s Hospital, will forego its annual Signature Event once again and host a series of smaller fundraisers in 2021, including I Love Long Beach, A Shoportunity Supporting Kids & Community. Tickets are on sale now through April 15 and are either $100 each or $125 for a bonus ticket. Six winners will be selected at random from all tickets purchased to receive $750 in restaurant and retail gift cards. If a ticket pulled is a bonus ticket, the holder receives an additional prize – a floating pizza party for six with Gondola Getaway.

Members of Steel Magnolias purchased gift cards out of their own pockets from restaurants and retailers around town such as Naples Rib Co., The Crooked Duck, Twig & Willow and The Wine Country. More than $5,000 in gift cards were collected from active and sustaining members and donated to support local businesses and special-needs children.

While Steel Magnolias’ Signature Event has been paused for a second year due to the pandemic, the organization’s annual golf tournament is still slated to take place on Monday, Oct. 25 at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach.

Since its inception 22 years ago, Steel Magnolias has raised nearly $6 million for its main recipient, the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center at Millers Children’s and Women’s Hospital, which serves children with behavior and development challenges such as autism and Fragile X Syndrome. The center is located on the campus of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center but serves children throughout Southern California.

Opportunity tickets for I Love Long Beach can be purchased via telephone with a credit card at (562) 331-8007 or a check can be mailed to: Steel Magnolias, 6216 E. PCH, #352, Long Beach 90803 – please put Opportunity Drawing in the memo line – checks must be received by 5 p.m. on April 15, 2021. Winners will be announced on April 16, 2021. For more information and an order form, visit thesteelmagnolias.org.

LBCC Keynote Speaker

Long Beach City College (LBCC) announced that Long Beach Mayor Dr. Robert Garcia will be the keynote speaker for the 2021 Commencement Ceremony. Garcia has been a symbol of leadership and first-hand experience throughout the coronavirus pandemic this past year.

An immigrant from Peru, Garcia and his mother arrived in the United States when he was five-years old. Since graduating from California State University, Long Beach, he has been a rising star in the community. While employed at LBCC, he was elected to Long Beach City Council and became the city’s 28th mayor in 2014. He is the city’s youngest and first elected openly LGBT mayor and first person of color to hold the office.

For a second year, LBCC will produce a virtual ceremony for those receiving their Associate Degree of Arts, Associate Degree of Sciences and Certificates of Achievement. LBCC graduates, friends and family will be able to watch the ceremony online.

In addition to the virtual ceremony, the Class of 2021 will be welcomed back to walk in LBCC’s next in-person Commencement Ceremony, along with the Class of 2020. More details will be included on the LBCC Commencement website www.LBCC.edu/Commencement in the near future.

2nd & PCH Happenings

Long Beach’s premier coastal retail, dining and lifestyle center invites the community to stay, shop, dine and enjoy the open-air center. Seaport Way continues to be closed to vehicular traffic providing additional common area seating and unique experiences for the community to enjoy responsibly.

The community is invited to Hoppin’ Photos with Bunny on March 27 and 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Capture springtime memories and grab a selfie in front of a spring-themed backdrop including a vintage Volkswagen bus on Seaport Way. Hoppin’ Photos with Bunny are on a first come, first serve basis; Bunny takes carrot breaks at the top of every hour. A photographer will not be present, selfies are encouraged. Photos are complimentary, socially distanced lines are required.

Shop for hand-crafted treasures at the Creative Communal Makers Market on March 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Seaport Way. This uniquely curated open-air market has something for everyone featuring local makers, kids activities, a spring photo op and live music.

Take-Out Tuesday

Naples Rib Company will have Take-Out Tuesday and Dine-In Tuesday on April 6th. Call in orders at (562) 439 7427 between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. and pick up at 5800 E. 2nd St. in Naples. Or call to make dine-in reservations 4-9 p.m.

Mention you support St. Bartholomew’s Church and the generous proceeds from Naples Rib Company will go to local charities supported by the Women’s Council of St. Bartholomew.

Scavenger Hunt

Long Beach Towne Center invites shoppers to take part in its Easter Bunny Scavenger Hunt from April 1 through April 11. Guests can follow @lbtownecenter on Facebook or Instagram to find clues to each hidden bunny’s location at Long Beach Towne Center, then visit the center to find photos of each bunny in person. After locating a photo, guests will scan a QR code next to the photo; the QR code will take them to a page where they can register as having located that photo.

Those locating one photo will receive a gift card to a Long Beach Towne Center store or restaurant. One gift card per winner; no purchase necessary. Winners will be contacted to redeem their prize. To learn more, visit http://ow.ly/huBE30rBckp.

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