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Long Beach opens park in honor of Harvey Milk

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- City leaders opened a park this morning in Long Beach's downtown area named after gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

A grand opening celebration was held at the park, located at Third Street and The Promenade.

Ground was broken on the park a year ago, which also includes an "Equality Plaza" area commemorating Milk and local gay leaders.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the plaza includes a concrete replica of the soapbox on which Milk stood to inspire crowds when he spoke, and a 20-foot flagpole flying the gay pride flag.

Mayor Bob Foster, who was present at today's grand opening, is pleased with the park as an addition to his city:

"The Harvey Milk Promenade Park is an example of how a small, well-designed open space can transform its surroundings and provide a profound purpose," Foster said in a statement. "The park also serves as a place where visitors can learn about Harvey Milk and our own Long Beach leaders who battled incredible odds for the rights of the LGBT community."

The first 100 people who attended today's ceremony received a commemorative button, according to a post from Vice Mayor Robert Garcia.

The timing of the park's opening is significant as it took place just days after Long Beach's 30th anniversary Pride celebration, and on the week of the observance of Harvey Milk.

Additional information can be found HERE and HERE.