Long Beach Pride Celebrates 41 Years

Story/Photo by Amando Jacobo

Following an annual tradition that stems back 41 years, the Long Beach Pride parade along with the Long Beach Festival came out in full swing to celebrate diversity and inclusion.

The vibrant celebrations coincide with one another on consecutive days – they offered electrifying music, assortments of foods and beverages, free stuff and lots of sun.

The theme for the parade this year was “The Rhythm of the Rainbow,” organizers encouraged people from all backgrounds to add to the vibrant displays of pride.

Local Long Beach resident Melvin Lopez felt it was the usual good times and energy that Long Beach Pride usually offers every year.

“I just went to the parade on Sunday, but it was so much fun. Everyone seemed happy and like they were having a great time. Met a lot of nice people and the energy was really good. I am sunburnt to a crisp, but it was worth it,” said Lopez.

The third-largest pride festival and parade in California aims to highlight the LGBTQ+ community with a focus on educating and widening the community toward acceptance.

Oklahoma resident Jamal Gallup managed to catch the annual tradition and compared it to Pride events near his native Oklahoma.

“I caught the parade and it was fun, it’s nice to have the city fund and back the LGBTQ+ movement. Just sort of strolled around the perimeter catching the music. I’m from out of town and while we have the same sort of parade and festival with tents and food just all out open in the street, this beats it from where I’m from. Overall good vibes and good people, like all pride events I’ve ever been to,” said Gallup.

Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson said in the raising of the Pride flag earlier this month, “Pride is an integral part of what makes Long Beach such an incredible place to live, to work, to play and belong.”

The city of Long Beach has been a hub for the LGBTQ+ community and with Pride month approaching in June, the Long Beach community had a head start in all the festivities.

It was not all glitter and glamour for some, as some attendees did have some issues with high prices and subpar accommodations.

“My husband and I do the VIP at pride every year but this year was a complete rip-off, when we showed up the bar was closed there was no shade and it just wasn’t the Long Beach Pride VIP experience that I’ve always looked forward to. Hopefully this was just an off year because for the price, the experience was poor,” said Ivy Mendiola.

The City of Long Beach, in partnership with the Office of Vice Mayor and Second District Councilwoman Cindy Allen, served as the official host and funder for the 2024 Long Beach Pride Parade this year.

The next pride event, provided by the Christopher Street West Association Inc. (CSW), will be hosted in Los Angeles on June 8 and 9.

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